The Mission Hub

The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the
Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St.Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These Societies promote a prayerfulmissionary spirit among baptized Catholics and to gather a fund of support for the evangelizing and pastoral programs of more than 1,150 local churches of the Developing World.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Welcome Bishop Antony Pappusamy of Dindigul, India

Recently, we were privileged at the office of the Pontifical Mission Societies to be visited by the Most Rev. Antony Pappusamy, Bishop of Dindigul, India. Bishop Antony came to thank us and you, our donors, for all the help he has received since 2003 when he was named the Bishop of this newly formed Diocese. As you can imagine, building a diocese from scratch is no easy task! But, Bishop Antony tells us that with the help of the Propagation of the Faith, they have made great progress.

The people of Dindigul are very poor. Most earn less than $1.50 a day to support their families. Many are migrant workers, traveling with the planting season to find work. Bishop Antony told us this hurts the children educationally. Parents either take their children with them, leaving school behind so as not to split the family, or are forced to make the heartbreaking choice of letting the children continue in school, leaving them as what is referred to as “semi-orphans”. They have no one to care for them while their parents are gone. In these cases, of course they turn to the Church.

With 112 local priests, 173 Religious women and 27 catechists, the Diocese puts itself at the service of the 2.75 million people of different religions - Christians, Hindus, Muslims – and of different ethnic, social, caste and economic backgrounds trying to uplift the most vulnerable, poor and neglected of their society.

Bishop Antony tells us that his biggest job is education on all levels. Finding competent teachers and catechists is very hard in a place where most people are illiterate. But, through support from each of the Pontifical Mission Societies, schools are being built and staffed, parish communities are coming together under the direction of locally trained clergy and the evangelizing work of the Church goes on.

This is the work of the Propagation of the Faith and it could not be done without your prayers and sacrifices. As we approach World Mission Sunday, October 18th, a day set aside by the Holy Father for remembering the missionary work of the Church at every liturgy said around the world, may we continue to pray for the health, intentions and safety of Bishop Antony and all like him who work to bring the Good News of Jesus to all.

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