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Campaign shines a light on our global mission

Gerard Gough

A GLOBAL awareness campaign featuring the faces and voices of missionaries from more than 50 countries has been launched internationally, to mark the start of Mission Month.

The Australian-led digital campaign connects Pontifical Mission Societies partners from around the world and has been translated in over 30 languages—including Arabic and Mandarin.

Catholic Mission, the Australian arm of the Pontifical Mission Societies, led the development of the campaign, working in close collaboration with PMS partners across the globe for nearly 12 months to voice a stirring message that missionaries are still serving global communities, which culminated in a powerful video (above).

Responding to a call from Pope Francis, inspired by Acts 4:20: “We cannot remain silent about what we have seen and heard,” the campaign shines a light on the dedication of missionaries to serving people in places where poverty and disadvantage compound the devastating impact of Covid-19.

“The Apostles and Disciples in the early Church lived with Jesus,” Fr Vincent Lockhart, National Director of Missio Scotland, said. “They witnessed the miracles, heard Him speak and saw first-hand his death, Resurrection and Ascension. They were then led by the Holy Spirit to go out to the whole world to proclaim what they had seen and heard. That has continued for the past 2000 years so that now the Church is present in every country and in every culture. An essential part of the life of the early Church an in the centuries that followed was how different communities helped one another.

“If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, then it is perhaps the realisation that we all need one another. During the past 19 months, many of us will have found that we have grown closer to our family, our friends and our neighbours. There are lots of stories of people helping others, much like the people of the early Church. We have many things to thank God for—even during these trying times—and one of them is to reflect what is important in our lives. Hopefully this video will help to provide a focus for this and the significance of mission.”

In a major example of international co-operation, Catholic Mission and its PMS partners sourced video messages of support from religious and lay missionaries representing every corner of the globe.

The awareness campaign builds on the global popularity of a similar production last year highlighting the ‘people with a thousand faces,’ Pope Francis’ term for missionaries around the world.

The #WeAreStillHere global video was viewed over a million times on social media around the world, translated into dozens of different languages and featured on national television programmes in Ireland and Malta.

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