As World Mission Sunday approaches, Missio explains what last year’s donations enabled

Last year, supporters of World Mission Sunday in England and Wales came together in generosity and faith on World Mission Sunday helping to raise an impressive £616,251. That money went to help missionaries and projects around the world, including the Kidist Mariam Centre in Ethiopia.

Coordinated by Missio, the Pope’s charity for world mission, World Mission Sunday is a moment of grace to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in situations of poverty, violence, and oppression, through the tireless work of the missionaries who accompany them.

Missio England and Wales invites every parish, school, and community to join this special event, through prayer and giving.

On World Mission Sunday last year, Missio featured the work of Spanish lay missionary Maria in Meki, Ethiopia. As Director of the Kidist Mariam Centre, Maria and her amazing local team work hard to provide a safe, supportive, and educational environment for vulnerable women, so they no longer have to leave their families and communities to find work.

“Our Catholic community’s generosity and prayers mean that Maria and many other dedicated missionaries like her can keep loving, serving, and sharing God’s hope with others,” said Missio.

Maria shared: ‘It doesn’t matter where we come from, where we live, where we are working… we are God’s dream, and we have to fulfil that dream… So, we have to do our best not only to live out our dream, but also to make real the dreams of so many other people and so many other young women.’

Since last year’s World Mission Sunday, thanks to Missio supporters in England and Wales, the Kidist Mariam Centre has continued to provide vocational training, including food preparation, hairdressing, and tailoring, despite the difficulties in Ethiopia at this time.

According to Maria’s latest report: ‘Conflict and political instability in Ethiopia, the continuing effects of the pandemic, and climate change affecting much of the country are making it increasingly difficult for vulnerable families to have the bare minimum necessary to live. Shortages of food and basic goods in local markets further worsen the situation.

‘In September 2022, new students were registered at the Kidist Mariam Centre. The total number of students in May 2023 is 380: 180 students in hairdressing, 163 students in tailoring, 37 in food preparation.’

Missio also shared the story of Beth* who, unable to find employment locally, had travelled overseas and became a domestic worker to help support her family living in Meki. Sadly, her employer abused and exploited her. Watch Beth’s story here:

Throughout her darkest moments, Beth shared that her faith was a beacon. She explained: ‘I believe that God is always before you and behind you in all your troubles… He is prominent for a person like me, who has fallen in life. He is my life. God is my life and my everything.’

Missio recently received the wonderful news that Beth has now graduated. She shared: ‘Missio helped to make it possible…May God make you prosper, may you be measured by the measure you have given… Thank you. God bless you.’

Maria wrote: ‘It is a great joy for us to express once again our most sincere gratitude for the help received from Missio in England and Wales. When, despite all the difficulties that surround us, we witness how the women with whom we have worked in this project have been able to get out of poverty and have their own profession, we can only thank God for His mercy and for allowing us to be instruments of His goodness towards the neediest.

‘This project has contributed enormously to the empowerment of young women, both economically and personally. They have formed a community with many others in similar situations.’

Why Mission and World Mission Sunday are so vital

In much of the developing world, many public services, such as hospitals and schools, are run by the Catholic Church. The global Missio network is entrusted by the Pope to support all of the 40% of the Universal Church currently in need of support from the rest of the Church.

World Mission Sunday is vital to the growth of the Church and the spread of the Gospel in predominately impoverished and remote areas overseas. It provides the financial assistance needed to help struggling communities survive, and ultimately flourish, through the work of dedicated missionaries.

Donations build much-needed infrastructure, from chapels and schools to orphanages, clinics, and dispensaries. Requested by the local community, the support from Missio transforms lives. It creates a hub from which the young Church can spread the Good News of the Gospel, minister to the faithful, and deliver essential services in health and education.

This year World Mission Sunday falls on Sunday 22nd October. Please join Missio to support and celebrate missionaries and mission dioceses around the world.