Bishop Richard J. Malone served as the main celebrant at a Mass that honored missionaries from the diocese who are ministering throughout the world.
World Mission Sunday Mass took place at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Harris Hill on Oct. 18. Liturgical concelebrants included many of the missionaries who were able to attend the annual Mass.
Father Ronald Sajdak, pastor of Nativity Parish, focused his homily on the service and sacrifice given by the missionaries. He said the missionaries help to bring the personal touch of God to the many people they serve.
"Today, we celebrate World Mission Sunday," Father Sajdak said. "In churches all over the world people gather to celebrate missionaries. These are people who dedicate their lives and go through great trials to prepare themselves to be missionaries for our faith. These are people who take time out of their lives to learn a new language so they can speak the Word in different cultures. These are people who will take the time to learn the culture of the people to whom they are going. These are people bringing the universal message of the Good News of Jesus."
Father Sajdak cited the example of Pope Francis during his recent visit to the United States. He said instead of staying at the White House for a steak dinner with dignitaries, Pope Francis ministered to those incarcerated in prison. He said the pope also took the time to minster to people in a homeless shelter.
"Today we celebrate those women and men who are so dedicated to world missions in the 1,150 missionary dioceses around the world," Father Sajdak said.
Father Sajdak thanked the missionary guests attending the Mass. Missionary groups present at the Mass included the Columban Sisters; Daughters of Mary; Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy; Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy; Servants of Mary the Queen; Sisters of Mercy; Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; Consolata Missions; Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers; Columban Fathers; Diocese of Musoma, Tanzania; and Diocese of Kottar."We say thank you for doing so much to minister in our faith to people all over the world," Father Sajdak said.