The people of God gathered for a joyous celebration of World Mission Sunday was held at Holy Redeemer Church in New Bremen, Ohio, on Sunday, October 22.
The world’s 1,100 mission dioceses were upheld in prayer during the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s annual World Mission Sunday Mass. This was the first time it was celebrated in the northern part of the archdiocese.
The church was full to hear music offered by the Vietnamese choir from Sacred Heart Parish in Dayton, and local musicians and singers. The Most Rev. Dennis Schnurr, archbishop of Cincinnati, presided, and the homily was preached by the V. Rev. Jeffrey Kirch, C.PP.S., provincial director of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, United States Province.
Honored during the liturgy were the Missionaries of the Precious Blood and the Sisters of the Precious Blood, for their mission efforts through the years. Also honored were parishes in the archdioceses who have fostered twinning relationships with other parishes as part of their missionary efforts.
Missionaries of the Precious Blood are in ministry at Holy Redeemer, a part of the Christ our Light Family of Parishes. Fr. Ken Schnipke, C.PP.S., is the pastor.
In his homily, Fr. Kirch told the congregation that they all are missionaries, by virtue of their baptism. “We may think of missionaries as people who have to ‘go over there,’ and ‘leave here.’ That is not necessarily true,” he said. “We all become missionaries when we are baptized. Remember, the Church does not have a mission. God’s mission has a Church.”
The same weekend, the Missionaries were celebrating the feast day of their founder, St. Gaspar del Bufalo, born in Rome in 1786. “When Gaspar was a child, he dreamed of becoming a great missionary, going to Turkey. Gaspar never left Italy. Yet he was one of our great missionaries. He realized that he didn’t need to go to far-flung lands to preach the gospel message . . . How can you be a missionary and share the gospel message in your own neighborhood?”
The Mass was followed by a festive meal, shared in the adjoining parish hall.