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San José – The Bishops of Costa Rica, convinced that “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard” , “convene all the pilgrim people of God in our dioceses, for a Great National Mission on the subject ‘Missionary disciples: bearers of Hope’. This Great Mission will be an opportunity for every Christian, in whatever place and situation he is, to renew his personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least, to decide to let himself be met by Him. The sending for this Great National Mission will take place, in each Cathedral of our country, by the respective diocesan Bishop, on Sunday, October 24, in the context of the celebration of World Mission Day and will culminate on Mission Day in the year 2023”.
This is the announcement of the Bishops of Costa Rica contained in their message for World Mission Day 2021, published at the beginning of October, in which they exhort solidarity with all the missionaries of the world, inviting us to renew “our baptismal commitment to be generous and joyful of the Gospel” and to become instruments of compassion and mercy to the ends of the earth. After recalling the origins of Mission Day, its aims and the intuition of Pauline Jaricot, the Bishops point out that in 2020 the Universal Fund to support young Churches significantly decreased due to the pandemic, “negatively affecting the mission territories and on the life of missionaries”. This is why they urge all the faithful to “be generous, according to their possibilities, so that the work of salvation continues to spread throughout the world” on this Mission Day 2021.
They therefore refer to Pope Francis’ message for Mission Day 2021: “the current moment in our history is not easy”, “the situation of the pandemic has highlighted and amplified the pain, loneliness, poverty and injustice”, “these times, rather than discouraging us, challenge us to proclaim with greater force and commitment that the Lord is risen and that his Resurrection is the foundation of our hope”. These are the reasons that led the Bishops of Costa Rica to convene the Great National Mission, and in their message they invite all the faithful to take part in it and to commit themselves, “to renew our missionary baptismal vocation and show that we are a Church on the move, active and committed to the cause of the Kingdom of God, in the world and in the circumstances in which each one lives and works, in the Church and in society”. The hope is that this missionary experience will be “a time of grace, conversion and pastoral renewal for all”.