Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The pericope of the Gospel of Mark we read this weekend is a familiar story. Jesus sends the Twelve out on mission. Two by two, they are to proclaim the Good News, bring healing to the sick, drive out demons, and call all to repentance. It is a powerful commission, and in just a few words, Mark manages to summarize the entirety of the Church’s purpose, mission, and work. All of us are called in like manner to proclaim the Gospel, turn away from sin, and work charitably for those most in need.
While most of us live this mission out close to home, some are called to a more radical mission field. Some experience the challenges and realities of this mission in their everyday life in ways we cannot imagine. This weekend is dedicated to the Mission Co-Op, sponsored by the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. We are joined by Fr. Patrick Kroteh, who comes to us representing the Catholic Bishops Conference of Liberia.
Our annual support of the Catholic Church’s missions far beyond our national borders is a reminder of the unity of faith we live each day as Catholics. We belong to a spiritual family that transcends race and nationality. The Church in the United States is in profound communion with the Church on every continent. Though our pastoral and cultural reality is different, our unity of faith and worship binds us closely to our Catholic brothers and sisters throughout the world. I thank you for your kind support of the Mission Co-Op collection and ask you to join me in extending a hearty welcome to Fr. Patrick, as we pray for his ministry and all he serves.