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Pope's Mission Sunday message stresses prayer

John Paul II has called on the Church to be more contemplative, more holy and more missionary, grounding its work on fervent prayer.

In his message for this year's World Mission Sunday, the Pope stressed that only in an atmosphere of prayer can the Holy Spirit be received and the faithful become witnesses of Christ.

This year, World Mission Sunday will be observed on 19 October. It will coincide with the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Holy Father's pontificate, the beatification of Mother Teresa, and the closing of the Year of the Rosary.

John Paul II proposed that the Year of the Rosary be an occasion for "believers on all the continents to deepen the meaning of their Christian vocation."

"Through baptism all believers are called to holiness," the Holy Father said. "Holiness and mission are inseparable aspects of the vocation of every baptised person."

The rosary helps believers to contemplate the face of Christ, which leads to "a deeper, interior familiarity with his mystery," he added.

World Mission Sunday will be observed in a context in which the Church has more possibilities than ever to proclaim Jesus, "thanks to the development of the means of social communication," John Paul II emphasizes.


Pray the Rosary, pray for peace - Pope's Mission Sunday statement (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, media release)
Pope: "internet provides unprecedented opportunity for expanding Church's missionary outreach" (MISNA)
Evangelization and Real Faith Go Together, Says Cardinal Sepe (Zenit)
Internet Offers New Missionary Prospects, Pope Says (Catholic World News)
Vatican website: World Day for Missions (papal message archive)
Catholic Mission (Australia)
Agenzia Fides | Text of World Mission Sunday message
Pontifical mission societies in U.S. inaugurate new web site (Vatican Information Service)

24 Feb 2003