The Catholic Church will launch the Year of the Missio Ad Gentes (Mission to the Nations) on November 28.
Monsignor Bong Lo, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Mission, said the public may view the online launch on their Facebook page at 3 p.m.
“We are all invited by the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Mission to the online launch of the Year of Missio Ad Gentes,” he said in a statement shared by the Pontifical Mission Societies Philippines.
“Let us greet this new year of mission together!” added Lo.
He said since the theme “Gifted to Give” is also the theme of the celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity (500YOC) in the country, they are adopting 500YOC’s logo.
“We find this necessary and convenient since both 500YOC and Missio Ad Gentes are in the same year 2021. This way, there will be no battle of themes and logos,” said Lo.
Some of the activities lined up for the celebration are virtual pilgrimage every first and third Saturday of the month, talks on mission, webinar on mission with targeted participants among others.
A National Mission Congress will also be held in Cebu from April 18 to 22, 2022.
It was in 2012, when the CBCP launched a nine-year journey for the New Evangelization for the 5th centenary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021, with a different theme each year, as follows:
Year of Integral Faith Formation (2013); Year of the Laity (2014); Year of the Poor (2015); Year of the Eucharist and the Family (2016); Year of the Parish as a Communion of Communities (2017); Year of the Clergy and Religious (2018); Year of the Youth (2019); Year of Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue (2020); and Year of Missio ad gentes mission to the nations.
Last September, the Catholic Church decided to prolong by one year the quincentennial celebration of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
The supposed culminating activity in April 2021 would now be the launch of a year-long celebration that will end in April 2022.
Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, then acting president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the decision to move the dates of the historic event was due to the health crisis.
The bishops agreed that the kick-off will be on April 17, an Easter Sunday, to commemorate the First Easter Sunday Mass in the country.
The bishops also moved the International Mission Congress (IMC) and the 2nd National Mission Congress to April 2022.