Auxiliary Bishop John J. McIntyre will be the main celebrant and homilist at the annual World Mission Sunday Mass Sunday, Oct. 20 at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia. The Mass recognizes the work of mission churches throughout the world and the support of their efforts by the faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The archdiocesan Pontifical Missions Societies Office sponsors the Mass, which occurs in conjunction with weekend visits by missionaries to dozens of parishes in the archdiocese.

Prior to the start of Mass at the cathedral 6:30 p.m., a rosary will be prayed for the Pontifical Mission Society at 6. Following the rosary at 6:20, Bishop McIntyre will award four local winners of this year’s Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) Annual Christmas Artwork Contest.


One winner, fifth grader Melissa Mejia of St. Peter the Apostle School in Philadelphia, is one of 24 national winners selected from thousands of entries in the national contest. The three other students will be recognized by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for their artwork, including Christopher Solas and Laila Bently, second graders also from St. Peter the Apostle School; and Sara Castagno, an eighth grader from Regina Coeli Academy in Abington.

Rebekah Coval will be recognized as a second-place winner in the young adult category of the first-ever Pontifical Mission Societies Song Contest, in which young people were asked to create original songs with lyrics and music, in either English or Spanish, with content drawn from the themes of Year of Faith and World Youth Day.

The artwork will be displayed during the award presentation then moved to the cathedral vestibule so others can enjoy the pieces after Mass.

During the weekend of Oct. 19-20, missionaries will also be speaking in over 57 parishes throughout the archdiocese on behalf of World Mission Sunday. Missionary groups such as the Cabrini Mission Corps, Brothers of the Christian Schools, SMA Lay Missioners, Augustinians, Little Sisters of St. Francis, Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Capuchin Franciscan Friars, Medical Missionary Sisters and others will relate the importance of their missionary work throughout the world.

Through the generosity of its faithful, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia provided more than $1.62 million to the Pontifical Mission Societies in 2012.