World Mission Sunday 22 October

I desire to express my closeness in Christ to all the men and women missionaries in the world, especially to those enduring any kind of hardship. Dear friends, the Risen Lord is always with you. He sees your generosity and the sacrifices you are making for the mission of evangelisation in distant lands. Not every day of our lives is serene and unclouded, but let us never forget the words of the Lord Jesus to his friends before his Passion: ‘In the world you will have tribulations, but be courageous: I have conquered the world!’ (Jn 16:33).

Message from Pope Francis World Mission Sunday 2023.

Theme for Sunday 22 October: Hearts on fire, feet on the move (Lk 24:13-35)


Is 45:1, 4-6:  I have taken the hand of Cyrus to subdue nations before his countenance.

Psalm 95:  Give the Lord glory and honour

1 Thess 1:1-5   We are mindful of your faith, hope and love

Alleluia, alleluia, Shine on the world like bright stars; you are offering it the word of life. Alleluia

Matt 22:15-21   Give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and to God the things that are God’s.

Hearts on fire, feet on the move

The risen Christ, then, is both the one who breaks the bread and, at the same time, the bread itself, broken for us. It follows that every missionary disciple is called to become, like Jesus and in him, through the working of the Holy Spirit, one who breaks the bread and one who is broken bread for the world...

Fr Alias Aiyako SVD preaching in Paiela, PNG.

Hearts on fire, feet on the move

One cannot truly encounter the risen Jesus without being set on fire with enthusiasm to tell everyone about him. Therefore, the primary and principal resource of the mission are those persons who have come to know the risen Christ in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist, who carry his fire in their heart and his light in their gaze. They can bear witness to the life that never dies, even in the most difficult of situations and in the darkest of moments...

Ordination Fr Norbert Koima SVD by Bp Henk TeMaarsen SVD at Denglagu, Papua New Guinea.

The urgency of the Church’s missionary activity naturally calls for an ever closer missionary cooperation on the part of all her members and at every level. This is an essential goal of the synodal journey that the Church has undertaken, guided by the key words: communion, participation, mission. This journey is certainly not a turning of the Church in upon herself; nor is it a referendum about what we ought to believe and practice, nor a matter of human preferences. Rather, it is a process of setting out on the way and, like the disciples of Emmaus, listening to the risen Lord. For he always comes among us to explain the meaning of the Scriptures and to break bread for us, so that we can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, carry out his mission in the world.

 Above extracts selected from Pope Francis' Message for World Mission Sunday 2023

Read Pope Francis complete message for World Mission Sunday HERE

Nursing graduate from Divine Word University receiving her Missioning Cross from Archbishop Rochus Tatamai of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.

Missioning ceremony at Divine Word University, Madang, Papua New Guinea

While graduation will come next year March at DWU we have the missioning (like the presentation of an initiand in a PNG initiation ceremony.)  Such a process traditionally can take years, but an important stage is when the initiand emerges out of seclusion and is recognised as an adult with adult responsibilities for the clan/tribe.

For Divine Word University, this ceremony marks the emergence of our students who came to us 4 years ago as youthful secondary school leavers to take part in 4 years of the student transformation which is an essential part of being a student at DWU.  The majority profess to be Christian, however a minority are Catholic, yet because DWU is a Catholic University (with recognition of "catholic" (small c) values), we have a ceremony with Mass, led by the Bishop (here Archbishop Douglas Young.) It includes the blessing of the crosses, then the distribution of crosses as we call the name of each student. 

There would have been around 500 students receiving their missioning cross this month of October just at the Madang campus.  Our other campuses in Rabaul and Wewak have a similar ceremony. 

A 5 min film clip filmed and edited by 4th year student Oathley Solomon using my camera can be viewed HERE.

Notes supplied by Prof Fr Philip Gibbs, President DWU, Madang, PNG.

Let us Pray

Pope Francis Mission Prayer

Heavenly Father,

when your only begotten Son Jesus Christ

rose from the dead,

he commissioned his followers

to “go and make disciples of all nations”

and you remind us that through our Baptism

we are made sharers in the mission of the Church.


Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit

to be courageous and zealous

in bearing witness to the Gospel,

so that the mission entrusted to the Church,

which is still very far from completion,

may find new and efficacious expressions

that bring life and light to the world.


Help us make it possible for all peoples

to experience the saving love

and mercy of Jesus Christ,

who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, forever and ever. 



Missionary work-desk. Scripture preparation and prayer.

 Missio Prayer HERE


Collection for MissioNZ 29 October

Next Sunday 29 October there will be the opportunity to donate to the work of missionaries around the world. 

Information about where to send donations will be sent to parishes this week.


All images including image on main slider: Good Friday Veneration of the Cross, Papua New Guinea from Fr Philip Gibbs SVD Missionary in Papua New Guinea for over 50 years.