Monthly theme for January: Baptism – Unites Us in Christ



His Holiness Pope Francis has set the month of October 2019 as an Extraordinary Missionary Month for the entire Church with the theme: “Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World’’. Through this, the Pope aims to foster greater awareness of mission ad gentes and to promote with more intensity the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity. It is the desire of the Pope, that the Extraordinary Missionary Month, which also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Apostolic Letter “Maximum Illud’’ written in 1919 by Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922), will, “… prove an intense and fruitful occasion of grace, and promote initiatives and above all prayer, the soul of missionary activity.’’

The Bishops of Peninsular Malaysia have not only heeded the call of Pope Francis to set aside October 2019 as a month specially dedicated to mission but have been also inspired by the Spirit, to announce the whole year as the “Extraordinary Missionary Year”. The journey commenced on the Feast of the Epiphany (6 January) and reaches its high-point in October 2019, when every baptised person will be commissioned and sent out on mission. In view of this, “Baptised and Sent’’ is the theme for 2019. It will serve as an important reminder throughout the year that as, ‘’Disciples of Hope,’ each of us who are baptised in the Name of Christ, are sent by Him as a Christian missionary in and to the world.


Monthly theme for January: Baptism – Unites Us in Christ

The Extraordinary Missionary Year began on 6 January with the Feast of the Epiphany. The long and arduous journey of the three wise men to seek the King of the Jews, is a timely reminder that our own journey of faith which began at Baptism, is to constantly seek Christ and to be united more closely with Him, and to share in His priestly, prophetic and kingly ministry. In addition, our baptism lays the “foundation of communion among all Christians, including those not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church” (CCC, 1271). It means that by virtue of the Sacrament of Baptism, we are united with all Christians who are incorporated with Christ (CCC, 1271). This unity is best exemplified by the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from 18-25 January 2019 on the theme ‘Justice and justice only you shall pursue’ (Deuteronomy 16:18-20).