‘Build brighter futures for families in Ethiopia’ is the theme of the 2022 Catholic Mission World Mission Month Appeal, celebrated at a Diocese of Wollongong school launch at St Thomas More Catholic Church, Ruse.
Students and staff from every school across the diocese gathered in music and prayer, with Bishop Brian Mascord DD; Peter Hill, Director of Schools; Fr Brian Lucas, Catholic Mission National Director; representatives of Catholic Mission and Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW), to pledge their commitment to the annual school appeal and kick goals against poverty.
In his 2022 World Mission Sunday message, Pope Francis invited everyone to answer the call to be missionary and a witness to Christ, stating that "Mission is carried out together, not individually..."
The appeal has been proudly supported by Catholic education over many years, providing life-changing support to those most in need, as well as opportunities to cultivate a passion in students to live out their faith beyond the classroom.
School communities were again invited again to partake in Socktober, a comprehensive education, formation and fundraising program that engages the heads, hearts, and hands of entire school communities in the global work of mission.
This year Socktober uses the world game of soccer to form a connection between students in Australia and the children they support with their fundraising. Through Socktober, students are invited to learn about, pray, advocate for, and financially support children and communities in need around the world.
The appeal will focus on a range of development programs in Ethiopia that address malnutrition, the lack of access to education for young children, and the vulnerable position of women in society.
Funds raised will be used to help support a community Agricultural project in Emdibir and a women’s vocational skills Centre in Meki. Both projects will provide training and employment opportunities, allowing members of the communities to financially support themselves and their families.
In a moving personal touch, attendees had the opportunity to hear stories from guest speaker Dorothy Makasa, a Zambian migrant and Mission Education Officer, who gave a first-hand insight into how her life had been impacted and changed thanks to generous donations and support from Catholic Mission.
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Bulli student, Ella Hicks, said the launch had inspired her to answer the call to be missionary. "I thought attending the launch was a really good experience to learn more about Socktober, how people are living in Ethiopia and how we can help them,” she said.
During the launch, Catholic Mission provided each school with a small gift to mark the beginning of Mission Month on Sunday 2nd October.