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World Mission Sunday

Missionary Cooperative Plan

“In this Holy Year, we look forward to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society: fringes which modern society itself creates. How many uncertain and painful situations there are in the world today!...Let us not fall into humiliating indifference or a monotonous routine that prevents us from discovering what is new!...Let us open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help!”         Misericordiae Vultus  Pope Francis


Dear Father, 

May God’s mercy and peace be with you! 

It is difficult to read this writing of Pope Francis and not be moved into action for those who seek God’s mercy in their lives. How will your parishioners and you be celebrating this Holy Year of Mercy? Without a doubt there are many people who need to understand and be in contact with God’s tenderness and love in their lives. Perhaps some of these people are the parishioners from your parish and with all certainty there are many who are outside of the geographic area of your faith community. But God asks us to reach out in a special way during this Holy Year. 

Keeping in mind that our Catholic Church is indeed a universal and global church, we want to invite you to once again participate in the Missionary Cooperative Plan of the Diocese of Joliet for the summer of 2016. We do have a compelling responsibility to heed the cry of the poor, as Pope Francis says, and often our Catholic people, who are generous by nature, are touched by the stories of how the missionaries are listening and responding to God’s call to help the poor. All over the world there are women and men, too many to be numbered, who daily confront struggles and hardships so that another person can be clothed, fed, sheltered and protected. 

Every year over 200 groups request to be considered for a mission appeal in our Diocese: priests, sisters and laypeople that need our help so that they can continue doing their work for God’s poor. Their message of mission awareness is so important to the catechesis of our Catholic people. Of course the financial aid is a huge help, but their stories are a mutual benefit for our people who otherwise might not have even thought of their own participation in the God’s mission.  

Every year since the Office of Human Dignity has taken on this important work of organizing the Missionary Cooperative Plan, the number of parishes who participate has increased. We are counting on you, Father, to help this number increase again in 2016. We will be contacting you soon by postcard or telephone to assure that we can open our doors to as many missionaries as possible during this Holy Year of Mercy. It is always a pleasure to collaborate with you as we live our mission of spreading God’s Good News of merciful love. 

May God bless our mission endeavors, 

Thomas Gartliz, Director                                                  Sister Nancy Schramm, osf, Mission Animator