“Missionary awakening must not Stop with October 2019”: Ivorian Church Leader Says

Fr. Jean Noel Gossou alongside other priests, religious and faithful at the end of Holy Mass to conclude the Extraordinary Missionary Month in Ivory Coast on October 27, 2019

As the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 (EMMOCT2019) commissioned by Pope Francis under the theme “baptized and sent” ends this Thursday, a Church leader in the West African nation of Ivory Coast has encouraged a continued life of witnessing the values of the gospel beyond this month so that the mission of Jesus Christ is made “part of our daily lives.”

“This missionary awakening must not stop in the month of October decreed by Pope Francis," the National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Ivory Coast, Fr. Jean Noela Gossou has been quoted as saying during the closing Mass for EMMOCT2019 in his country Sunday, October 27.

"Mission must be part of our daily lives to extend the mission to all levels and areas of activity in the world," Fr. Gossou added while addressing the congregation that gathered at St. Augustine Cathedral, Yamoussoukro.

Pope Francis dedicated October 2019 to “the Church’s evangelizing activity ad gentes (to the nations)” during the 2017 World Mission Sunday where he asked the whole Church to “live an extraordinary time of missionary activity.”

In the spirit of EMMOCT2019, the Church in Ivory Coast through the National Directorate of PMS organized trainings on the activities of the Church as well as a competition on poetry, drama and singing, among other catechetical activities that have been described as “a mass catechesis.”


The competitive activities were concluded Sunday, October 27 with Agboville Diocese in the south east of the country winning the drama and poetry segment while Daloa Diocese located west of the country coming second after winning the singing category.

"We are proud to have participated in the contest and won the first prize," leader of Saint Joseph choir from Daloa, which won the singing category, Raphael Guidan Veh has been quoted as saying.

“The mission is the responsibility of all those who are baptized and our duty is to spread the message of Jesus Christ,” Guidan Veh said and added, “we tell all the choristers to continue on the path of conversion through singing.”

In his message during the event, the National Director of PMS affirmed the need for Christians to work together to ensure the success of the mission of taking the Gospel to the periphery.

"We must all work together to find the necessary means to finance this mission through self-giving and the effective and efficient contribution to the collections established in the Church through PMS,” he affirmed.

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In calling for EMMOCT2019, Pope Francis explained that the month would mark the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, a document on missionary activities in the world.