With World Mission Sunday almost upon us (Sunday 22 October 2023), Missio have issued a press release inviting you to set hearts ablaze in Kenya. World Mission Sunday is the one day in the year when the entire global Church comes together in support of mission.
World Mission Sunday takes place on 22 October 2023. This global celebration of our Church and mission is co-ordinated by Missio, the Pope’s official charity for world mission, and every Catholic community throughout the world is encouraged to take part. For 2023, Pope Francis has chosen the theme ‘Hearts on fire, feet on the move’ [cf. Luke 24: 13 – 35].
To highlight the work of missionaries around the world, Missio is sharing the story of Sister Mary in Kibera, as she walks alongside her community, and sets hearts ablaze with God’s love.
Kibera is the biggest ‘slum’ in Kenya. In fact, it is the biggest in Africa. Rife with all the problems poverty brings – malnourishment, addiction, abuse – it is easy to see Kibera as a place of despair and misery.
Sr Mary and her fellow Little Sisters of Jesus choose to live in the heart of Kibera, alongside the people they serve. That way, they can better understand the daily challenges and reach all who are in need.
Sr Mary meets the challenges of life in Kibera with faith and friendship. She says: “If I am tired or down-hearted I find strength in the heart of Jesus… Our charism is ‘be one with the people’, ‘go where people are’. It’s from Saint Paul, but our foundress, Sister Magdalene, also took it from Saint Charles de Foucauld: to be there with them from the grassroots, discover what is happening, and together learn what to do.”
“My mission is befriending. I began with Christians I met in the church. Slowly I gained their confidence, and they welcomed me to their houses. They share their problems. When the stories are painful, even if I have nothing to offer, it’s possible to find someone who can help. That makes me create friendships with other people who are able to help. So, it’s friendship, but a friendship that means you can’t just sit and watch; that something has to be done.“