In order to promote awareness and participation in the missions, several resources, such as prayer booklets, posters, videos, and prayer cards, were prepared for all the churches in Lithuania and distributed in all the dioceses. These resources, available both in the Lithuanian and Polish languages, are found and archived in the website of the Lithuanian Pontifical Mission Societies: https://misijos.katalikai.lt/
Every day during the month of October, the parish community prays the rosary for the intentions of missionaries working especially for the promotion and support of families in the different parts of the world guided by the meditations of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia and concluded with the prayer to Saint Joseph for the end of the COVID pandemic.
Among the many activities organized during the month, the interventions given during the monthly gathering of priests of the Archdiocese of Vilnius, the talks to students and educators in the different schools within Vilnius and Kaunas archdioceses, and interviews in different media networks aim to deepen the understanding of the missions and develop the theme for this year’s World Mission Sunday: “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
The highlight of this year’s celebration was the live transmission of the Celebration of the Eucharist for World Mission Sunday last October 24 from Saint John Bosco Parish in the Lithuanian National TV station (LRT Plius) and Radio Maria. In his homily, Fr. Barelli noted that “the missionary commitment of every baptized has no limits: it is first directed to those who are nearest to us and then reaches out the ends of the earth.” He also emphasized our vocation to become “missionaries of daily life” in order to bring the voice and light of Christ to all without long speeches and sermons but with love, hope, optimism, and service.
At the moment, there are 6 Salesian missionaries working in Lithuania, 3 Italians, 1 Vietnamese, 1 Argentinian, and 1 Filipino. In the past, Salesians from Lithuania have been agents of evangelization in the different parts of the world. The First Lithuanian Salesian missionary, Fr. Juozas Augustaitis, was sent in 1921 to Peru.
Fr. Ryan Oliver Bautista, SDB