Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 Initiatives in the Church of South Africa

The Church in South Africa is motivated by the prospect of sharing and returning what has been received so that it may bear new fruit. Monsignor Jan de Groef, Bishop of Bethlehem, informed the Southern African Episcopal Conference of the discussions that took place during the Plenary Assembly in Mariannhill regarding the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 announced by Pope Francis.

The celebrations and activities for the Extraordinary Missionary Month will be related to the recent 200th anniversary of the Church's presence in southern Africa. The Extraordinary Missionary Month has been included in the annual catechetical program and its formative aspects will also be at the center of the orientation course for new missionaries arriving in South Africa. The "One Bring One" initiative is also linked to the Extraordinary Missionary Month, so that each Christian can bring a brother or sister to the faith.

The Diocese of Kroonstad will carry out various programs on the theme of the Extraordinary Missionary Month which will be distributed in the four regions that make up the diocese. The young people will have a unique experience when they will gather to celebrate Holy Mass on June 16th, during which they will receive the commission to become missionary disciples of Jesus and to evangelize the communities where they live, go to school or work.  

On August 27th, in the central and northern regions there will be a Holy Mass for married and family life where married couples and families will be called to become "missionary disciples." The same ceremony will be held in October in the remaining regions.

Every Sunday in October, until World Mission Day on October 20th, a special prayer for missions will be recited in all the parishes of the diocese.

Looking ahead, the Diocese of Manzini has decided to launch an extraordinary missionary year from October 2019 to October 2020. A committee of four priests developed a first project idea that was shared with their confreres.