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Catholic Philippines to launch ‘Year of the Mission to the Nations’ this month

The theme of the observance, “Gifted to Give,” is also the theme of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country

The Catholic Church in the Philippines will be launching the “Year of the Missio Ad Gentes,” or “Year of the Mission to the Nations” on November 28.

This was announced by Monsignor Bong Lo, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Mission of the Catholic bishops’ conference.

The public can attend the “online launch” on the commission’s Facebook page at 3 p.m. on that day.

“We are all invited by the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Mission to the online launch of the ‘Year of Missio Ad Gentes,’” read a statement shared by the Philippine Pontifical Mission Societies.

“Let us greet this new year of mission together,” said Monsignor Lo, adding that the theme the year of carry, “Gifted to Give,” is also the theme of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country.

“We find this necessary and convenient since both [the anniversary] and Missio Ad Gentes are in the same year, 2021,” said the priest.

“This way, there will be no battle of themes and logos,” said Monsignor Lo.

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Some activities lined up for the celebration include a virtual pilgrimage every first and third Saturday of the month, talks on mission, webinars on mission with targeted participants, among others.

A “National Mission Congress” will be held in Cebu from April 18 to 22, 2022.

In 2012, the country’s Catholic bishops launched a nine-year journey for “New Evangelization” for the fifth centenary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021, with a different theme each year.

In September this year, the local Church decided to prolong by one year the quincentennial celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bishops said the kick-off activities of the celebration will be on April 17, Easter Sunday, to commemorate the First Easter Sunday Mass in the country.

The bishops also moved the International Mission Congress and the 2nd National Mission Congress to April 2022.

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