02 Oct 2022
Critical mission in Ethiopia
The Southern Cross October 2022
Catholic Mission celebrates World Mission Month in October, with the international agency calling for urgent assistance for communities devastated by war and famine in Ethiopia.
World Mission Month is dedicated to the life-giving work of missionaries around the world.
This year’s focus is to walk hand-in-hand with the Church of Ethiopia and support a range of mission development programs addressing malnutrition, lack of access to education for young children and the vulnerable position of women in society.
Pope Francis, in his 2022 World Mission Sunday message, invited everyone to answer the call to be missionary, sharing that ‘Mission is carried out together, not individually’.
Through the Pontifical Mission Societies’ international network, Catholic Mission, with its supporters, are answering the call of Christ to be missionaries and together build brighter futures. Working at a grassroots level and closely collaborating with local communities, it hopes to find sustainable solutions which will bring hope to those in most need.
In the Ethiopian rural region of Emdibir, where 70 per cent of families struggle to put food on their tables, Catholic Mission is building a goat rearing centre. The resources produced through the centre will help fight malnutrition, a phenomenon that contributes to 50 per cent of child deaths. This project is led by Fr Habte, a local priest dedicated to raising the local community out of poverty.
In the capital, Addis Ababa, the life-giving work carried out by local partners is helping children access education. Sister Carmen Sammut SJA created a scholarship program for children from families facing financial hardship, offering them a placement at school so they can continue their education and create brighter futures for themselves.
Catholic Mission is also supporting women in the town of Meki to learn skills and gain financial independence by providing access to vocational training to help them secure employment or start their own businesses. This critical mission work is carried out by Maria, a lay missionary who dedicates her life to creating brighter futures for women in vulnerable situations.
To encourage missionary action among youth and schools in Australia, Catholic Mission continues its Socktober program this year. It cultivates the passion of students to rise up, engage their local community and take action against poverty through the world game of soccer. The program provides young people with the opportunity to lead in mission, encouraging them to think not only of what they can do to help, but why they do it.
Each year, the second last Sunday of October is dedicated to World Mission Sunday. Falling on October 23, it is also an opportunity to commemorate 200 years of Mission, said Fr Brian Lucas, Catholic Mission national director.
“Guided by the verse ‘You shall be my witnesses…’ (Acts 1:8), World Mission Month is not only a celebration of incredible missionaries around the world but a celebration of the missionary vocation that lives in all of us,” he added.
To find out about the many ways to get involved in World Mission Month, visit catholicmission.org.au/worldmissionmonth
Picture: Malnutrition is a contributing factor in more than 50 per cent of the deaths of children under the age of five in Ethiopia.