In 1919, at the end of World War I, Pope Benedict XV wrote an Apostolic Letter, Maximum Illud1, which included notation of the destruction of schools, hospitals, and hostels by that terrible war. Eight years later, in the middle of the lull between the great world wars, the first annual Mission Sunday collection was taken up in all local Catholic churches of the world as instituted by Pope Pius XI the previous year. This Sunday appeal was in recognition of our common responsibility to support the evangelization of the world through assistance in building churches, allowing for the preparation of those called to the priesthood and the religious life, teaching children in Church-run schools, and providing healthcare in the 6,500 Catholic hospitals and small clinics around the world2,3. This annual Mission Sunday collection has now gone on for almost a hundred years through times of peace, of subsequent wars, and now of pandemic.
For those providing medical care in resource-limited Catholic mission hospitals and clinics, it has been a frustrating time of travel restrictions and regulations. Planning is done for the time when travel is again possible and the question continues to be asked, “What CAN be done to support Catholic Mission healthcare facilities?”. The questions never change, but the answers look different this year.
…our common responsibility to support… providing healthcare in the 6,500 Catholic hospitals and small clinics around the world.
When reading what Tim shared I felt it was so important to share how the answers look different this year for Mission Doctors!
With your help, we have been able to provide PPE for Ghana, Peru, and Tanzania, and most recently provided funds for annual salaries for local physicians that the Franciscan Sisters would otherwise not been able to hire for Cameroon. The support looks different, but it is part of the same goal, supporting Catholic Healthcare to a world in need!
As doctors plan for the time they can return or make the first trip, we have not forgotten our partners and YOU make this support possible! Thank you!
- Apostolic Letter, Maximum Illud
Pope Benedict XV
World Mission Sunday Collection Resources
- World Mission Sunday brochure (USCCB)