The day when the Extraordinary Missionary Month was launched, January 19, 2019, was a special day in the Catholic Church of Tanzania. The Holy Mass in which this historical event took place was attended by nineteen bishops, priests, sisters, children of the Holy Childhood Association and lay people.
The president of the Episcopal Conference of Tanzania presided the Holy Mass. During his homily, the president of the conference quoted the Holy Father when he called the whole Church to celebrate the Extraordinary Missionary Month, that “we will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, with which Pope Benedict XV sought to give new impetus to the missionary task of proclaiming the Gospel.” The president also said that the Holy Father called the Extraordinary Missionary Month “with the aim of fostering an increased awareness of the missio ad gentes and taking up again with renewed fervor the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity.”
The president of the conference also invited all the bishops to arrange their own date to launch the Extraordinary Missionary Month in their own dioceses. He added that after getting the invitation from the Holy Father, the bishops decided to launch the Extraordinary Missionary Month as soon as possible so that the faithful may get enough time to live this spiritual month and harvest spiritual benefit in the way the Church and the Holy Father desires.
In that inauguration Mass, the missionary prayer was initiated which was issued by the Holy Father. When the bishops received the prayer from Rome, they added some parts to it that carry the intentions of the Episcopal Conference of Tanzania. Before the Mass ended, the significance of the Extraordinary Missionary Month logo was read out loud. The president of the conference received the original letter of Maximum Illud from a religious sister showed it to all the bishops and faithful present, demonstrating the official launch of the Extraordinary Missionary Month in Tanzania.
On the same day, some bishops and the PMS National Director were interviewed by journalists about details involving the Extraordinary Missionary Month.
January 30th 2019
Supervised by Fr. Jovitus Mwijage, PMS National Director of Tanzania.