Mangaluru, Sep 30 2019: Diocese of Mangalore Bishop Rev Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha, opened the celebration of "Extraordinary Missionary Month, October 2019" (EMMOct2019) called for by Pope Francis, to mark the centenary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter ’Maximum Illud’ ( November 1919), with which Pope Benedict XV wished to give new impetus to the missionary call to strengthen the faith. The theme set down : “Baptized and Sent. The Church of Christ on Mission in the World”. Proclaiming the death and resurrection and love of Jesus Christ is our fundamental duty. Following the call of Pope Francis, to keep this special month with prayers, good works and intercession, reflecting on the needs of humans.
A solemn mass was held at the Mother Church of the diocese, the Rosario Cathedral , celebrated by Bishop Rev Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha and several priests of the region, in the evening. The logo of the EMMOct2019, was unveiled by the Bishop and members of his council. The Bishop in his exhortation said that a hundred years ago Pope Benedict XV, had exhorted the church leaders to set up local centers for training leaders from local communities to the best standards prescribed and the aim was not conversion, but better knowledge and understanding of the faith among born Catholics in every land. It is not the number of Catholics that matter, and it has remained the same percentage in India for decades which indicates there is no conversion practiced. But, the aim is to have better Catholics.
The lay Catholic faithful and institutions of the city were seen present in fitting enthusiasm on the occasion.