Dear Colleague in Mission,
Prayerful greetings in this week after Pentecost, continuing our celebration of the birth of the Church’s mission in and to the world! The task of bringing the message of the Gospel “to the ends of the earth” that began on that first Pentecost, when those of many nations heard the Good News of Jesus in their own language, is now our joyful responsibility.
This past Friday, May 17, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, spoke to all of us National Directorswho had gathered for our annual meeting to dispense the generosity to the Missions that you encourage through the Pontifical Mission Societies. The Pope spoke of our being “Pontifical” – at his disposal – “with the specific purpose of acting so that the precious gift of the Gospel might be offered to all.” These Societies, he said, were “entirely relevant; even more, they are still necessary today because there are so many peoples who have still not known and met Christ.”
“And it is urgent,” Pope Francis continued, “to find new forms and new ways that God’s grace might touch the heart of each man and each woman and bring them to Him.”
Following that message, present to us there in the Clementine Hall in Rome and present “virtually” with the 1,140 people in 27 different countries who had so far downloaded our new MISSIO App, Pope Francis “unlocked” that App with a touch of his finger to the launch button on my iPad that said, “evangelizantur,” Latin for “they have been evangelized.” In that way, the Pope put the missionary Gospel in the pockets of millions of people, young and old, rich and poor, believer and searcher. (Read full story from Catholic News Service.)
Since that Friday, the number of those installing our MISSIO App has increased many times over, topping 20,000! And the 27 countries have grown to more than 80. After the United States, the most users are in Argentina; in fact, MISSIO is a number one mobile App in that country.
MISSIO gives users access to the Pope’s daily homily, videos from Catholic News Service and News.va, the Vatican’s news agency; there is also news from Rome and around the world, including the Missions, from FIDES, the Pontifical Mission Societies’ news agency, and News.va. News is presented with a Catholic perspective – and in eight languages (English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic), most appropriate for its launch near Pentecost.
Ever since his election, Pope Francis has reached far beyond the Vatican, touching people’s lives in simple and meaningful ways. The MISSIO App helps extend his reach. As “one family in mission,” let’s invite others to join with the Holy Father in the continuing spirit of Pentecost to, through this unique mobile App, see the world each day through the eyes of faith.
In His mission,
Very Reverend Andrew Small, OMI