Reflecting on the theme, the Ugandan Cleric says, “God is asking, whom shall I send, even in this time of COVID-19. Our response should be, here am I, send me.”
On her part, the National Secretary of the PMS of St. Peter the Apostle in Uganda, Sr. Stella Maris Niwagira says that donations collected on Mission Sunday keep Church activities running especially in difficult areas.
“The work of evangelization needs material support. Resources collected from all over the world end up with some of us in the young churches where we cannot support ourselves fully,” says Sr. Stella Maris.
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She adds, “Without resources of our own, we see churches and convents being built, and we see formation going on smoothly in seminaries and in other formation houses. We also see our Catholic hospitals and schools running smoothly. Many times, we do not realize that the support we get is a fruit of the contribution that we put together on Mission Sunday.”
The member of the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver observes that in the spirituality of PMS, the aspect of material help is included to help baptized Christians reach out to other people in faraway places, “people that we may never get an opportunity to see physically”.
“We should always tell ourselves that where I cannot arrive to proclaim the Gospel, then I will reach into my pocket and send my contribution to the (missionary) who has gone physically to proclaim the gospel in a place where I will never arrive myself,” she says
In her message to the children in Uganda ahead of Mission Sunday, the National Secretary of the Missionary Holy Childhood in the country, Angella Namugenyi says, “Dear children, the Pope is reminding us that we are not in this world by our own choice, but we are called for a purpose which is to evangelize all the people to the end of the world.”
She says that on Mission Sunday, “where the world seems to be upside down”, the children are invited to pray for their fellow children.
According to the children Coordinator in Uganda, there are many children who have lost hope because of too much poverty in their families. Many others, she says, fear staying at home where they are exposed to a lot of domestic violence while others have been abused by their family members and other people they trusted.
“I am inviting all the children to pray for these children who are going through immense suffering,” Angella Namugenyi says, and invites children in the country to say two Hail Mary’s for children in all the continents of the world.
“By praying two Hail Mary’s for the children who are in America, you will be doing your mission. You will be reaching out to the children you can’t travel to meet using physical means but through prayer,” she says, and calls on older members of the Church to help the children to understand their call of evangelization.
Meanwhile, children in Kenya have been participating in virtual prayers ahead of Mission Sunday on October 18 when they will join other children on the globe in the “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” call that was sent out by the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to pray for unity and peace in the world
Announcing the initiative in a communique shared with ACI Africa October 1, ACN leadership said that the prayer initiative is expected to bring together children from all parts of the world.
“Children from around 80 countries and on all continents will be participating. From Ghana to Syria to Papua New Guinea,” ACN leadership announced, adding that the organization has provided materials for the prayer campaign in 23 languages, including Arabic and several African languages.
Pope Francis has encouraged participation in the ACN Rosary prayer initiative saying that children will, in a special, pray for the harsh COVID-19 times.
“Next Sunday, the Aid to the Church in Need Foundation promotes the One Million Children Praying the Rosary campaign for unity and peace. I encourage this beautiful event that involves children throughout the world, who will pray especially for critical situations caused by the pandemic,” the Holy father says in a report published by the Pontifical organization on Tuesday, October 13.
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.