Pope Francis said that he continued to “dream of a completely missionary Church” in a message published on Thursday.
Writing in his World Mission Day message, released on Jan. 6, the Solemnity of the Epiphany, the pope called for renewed efforts to spread the Gospel.
“Dear brothers and sisters, I continue to dream of a completely missionary Church, and a new era of missionary activity among Christian communities,” he wrote.
World Mission Day — also known as World Mission Sunday — was established by Pope Pius XI in 1926. It is usually observed on the third Sunday of October and will be celebrated this year on Sunday, Oct. 23.
This year’s theme is “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). The pope described Christ’s words in the Acts of the Apostles as “the heart of Jesus’ teaching to the disciples.”
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