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, March 11, 2010

Travelling Full Circle With HCA

The thought came unexpectedly, as I traveled to another school to speak for the Holy Childhood Association –I knew I had come full circle. No, I wasn’t lost on Rt. 128 (again!) nor had I missed my exit. My “light bulb” moment brought me to the realization that the road on which I had been placed by the Sisters of Notre Dame at St. Michael School in Hudson was one that would lead me back to Boston to teach a new generation about praying and sacrificing for children in the missions.

I had just spent a wonderful day at St. Monica School in Methuen where the Principal is Sr. Alice St. Joseph, S.N.D. Sister was a teacher and lived in Hudson when I was a student there.

The Sisters who taught us were committed to helping us understand that “God is good – all the time!” It was up to us as Catholics to share that Good News with others. Every Lent, while filling my mission bank, I never dreamt that one day I would travel and meet someone who was the beneficiary of my generation’s prayers and sacrifices.

In October 2006, I traveled to Esmeraldas, Ecuador to visit sites funded by the Pontifical Mission Societies. Because a large part of the area had no roads, we traveled by dugout canoe upriver for hours to a tiny village. There, we met Basilio.

As a child, Basilio had been educated by missionaries in a school supported by the Holy Childhood Association. Wanting to make a difference in the faith and education of his country, Basilio went to college and became a teacher. Armed with his degree, he found a home on the River Esmeraldas, applied to HCA for seed money and built a school – with his own hands. He now has 16 students of varying ages in one classroom learning to read, to write and that Jesus loves them.

The students at St. Monica’s were fascinated by the pictures and the story of this second generation success of Holy Childhood. Meanwhile, Sr. Alice St. Joseph S.N.D. is assuring that a new group of children can make it possible for Basilio’s students to pass on the lessons he teaches, just as I now pass on the lessons taught to me by the good Sisters. We’ve come full circle together through the Holy Childhood Association.

Ah! Qu'il est bon, le bon Dieu! (Thank you, Sisters!)

-Maureen Crowley Heil

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