October is already established in the minds and hearts of the universal Church as Mission Month. This year, however, it will have even greater significance. Pope Francis has announced October 2019 as the Extraordinary Month of Mission (EMM2019). EMM2019 will be an extra-special month of prayer and action to help strengthen and grow God’s Mission and the Church.

What inspired EMM2019?

EMM2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud on overseas mission. Pope Francis describes Maximum Illud as, ‘a milestone in the evolution of the Church’s missionary work.’ Maximum Illud repeats the biblical instruction to ‘go to the ends of the earth and preach the Gospel’, while recognising the importance of training people who come from, and live in local communities.

The Four Focus Areas & Aims

Pope Francis has announced Four Focus Areas

  1. A personal encounter with Jesus Christ living in his Church: in the Eucharist, in the Word of God, and in personal and communal prayer.
  2. Testimony: missionary saints, martyrs, and confessors of the faith as an expression of the Church scattered throughout the world.
  3. Missionary formation: biblical, catechetical, spiritual, and theological.
  4. Missionary charity.

Therefore, EMM2019 Aims 

  1. To encourage Catholics into a deeper relationship with Jesus through prayer.
  2. To look to, and learn from, the actions and sacrifices made by our saints, martyrs and living missionaries.
  3. To rediscover and renew our understanding of overseas mission (ad gentes).
  4. To financially support overseas mission.

What is your role in EMM2019?

Schools, organisations, orders, congregations, dioceses, parishes, communities and individuals are all being asked to get creative and get behind this worldwide Church initiative. The Holy Father wants EMM2019 to be celebrated by as many Catholics as possible. Therefore, it will be through the actions and planned events of Catholics the length and breadth of Ireland that EMM2019 will be realised.

Pope Francis welcomes everyone to live and celebrate this extraordinary month with absolute creativity and freedom. For a little extra-help, together with our international offices, we’ve created an EMM Toolkit, click to DOWNLOAD. More information is available on the Vatican’s official EMM2019 website HERE.