How African Countries are Marking the Extraordinary Missionary Month

Cover of the Booklet for Extraordinary Missionary Month 2019

As the Catholic Church across the globe starts marking the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 (EMMOCT2019), which Pope Francis announced to commemorate the centenary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud (The great work of preaching the gospel to the whole world), local churches have scheduled specific activities.

Various sources have told ACI Africa how some African countries are marking EMMOCT2019 in line with the theme guiding the celebrations: “Baptized and Sent, the Church of Christ on the Move in the World.”

The Church in Malawi

“In November 2018, the bishops in Malawi launched EMMOCT2019 through a circular letter urging priests and all the people of God to begin preparations,” National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) Fr. Vincent Mwakhwawa told ACI Africa.

Following the four dimensions Pope Francis has given to shape the EMMOCT2019, which is personal encounter with Jesus Christ, witness of Saints, educational work and Missionary charity, the bishops encouraged Christians to pray often and have adorations.  


In line with the Holy Father’s directive, “The bishops (in Malawi) asked parishes to open their Churches for adoration and prayer to live the first dimension of EMM proposed by the Holy Father: personal and communal encounter with Christ in prayer, Eucharist and word of God,” Fr. Mwakhwawa said.

“Last Sunday (Sept. 29), most dioceses and parishes launched the EMM,” Malawian-born Fr. Mwakhwawa said and enumerated the various ways Small Christian Communities (SCCs) in Malawi have planned to live out EMMOCT2019.

“Members of SCCs will read the daily reflections in local language as given by Vatican for daily scriptural readings and missionary reflections and witness of saints and martyrs.

“They (SCCs) will pray the Rosary with intentions given by Bishops’ conference as proposed by the Holy Father; they will make a collection of funds for world mission Sunday,” Fr. Mwakhwawa said, adding that the members will be expected to “identify a charitable activity to be done by the community or individuals.”

The Church in Ghana

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In Ghana’s capital, Accra, the Archdiocesan launching of EMMOCT2019 was slated to take place Tuesday, October 1, at Christ the King Parish, Cantonments.

All the other parishes of the Archdiocese are expected to conduct their launch on Sunday, October 6, with a video message from Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie.

In a statement sent to ACI Africa, the Church in Ghana has programed for various activities, among them:

Conducting weekly talks on mission (preferably on Sundays) in all parishes.

Parishes to pray the EMMOCT2019 prayer at all Sunday Masses throughout the month of October. The Prayer is to be used to conclude the bidding prayers during Mass and this is to be said by all.


Parishes to have daily and/or weekly prayers for missions during the October Rosary prayers.

Various groups in the Parishes encouraged to go for mission outreach to lapse Catholics, the sick, the aged, among others.

"Exchange of Pulpits" throughout the Archdiocese on Sunday, October 20, 2019 to mark Mission Sunday. 

The Church in Zambia

“The Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 in Zambia is being coordinated by the Pontifical Mission Societies, Zambia national office,” the Knowledge Management Officer Caritas Zambia, Chibesa Ngulube Ngwira told ACI Africa Tuesday.

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 The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Zambia has put in place practical ways to observe the EMM October 2019, among them,  

Daily reflections, prayer, missionary charity, which are being produced daily based on EMMOCT2019 guide. The reflections are being aired on all the nine catholic radio stations in Zambia.

Recite the missionary prayer in families, with the Catholic radio stations encouraging the initiative.

Taking part in missionary charity collections either as an individual or as a family, with tins for collecting cash distributed by the Bishops’ conference and PMS representatives expected to be present in the shopping malls of the capital city of Zambia, Lusaka, to collect funds.

The Church in South Africa

“The EMM has been included in the annual catechetical program and its formative aspects will also be at the center of the orientation course for new missionaries arriving in South Africa,” a message of its website page reads in part.

The "One Bring One" initiative is also linked to the Extraordinary Missionary Month, so that each Christian can bring a brother or sister to the faith.

A special prayer for missions will be recited in all the parishes of the diocese every Sunday in October, until World Mission Day on October 20.

The Church in Kenya

The Church in Kenya will focus its activities on reaching out to Christians at the grassroots.

EMMOCT2019 will be commissioned by the Bishops on October 5 during the county's National Prayer Day at the Village of Mary, a National Shrine, a property of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB).

The Church in Ethiopia

“Today at the Vicariate of Hawassa, Ethiopia, inaugural conference is taking place for the Extraordinary Missionary Month and different dioceses have their own plans and activities such as conferences and animations for evangelization, these will be carried out throughout the month,” Secretary General of Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS) Fr. Teshome Fikre told ACI Africa.  

Prayer for the Extraordinary Missionary Month

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. Amen