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.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A New Beginning

I write to you as the new Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the Archdiocese of Boston. As the new Director, I am busy getting up to speed with the work of all our Pontifical Mission Societies. These include not only the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, but the Society of Saint Peter Apostle, the Holy Childhood Association, and the Missionary Cooperative of Priests and Religious. As I write this post, I am sitting at the desk formerly occupied by a young Father Richard J. Cushing who was responsible for putting the Archdiocese of Boston “on the map” in terms of support for the foreign missionary activity of the Church.

Cardinal Cushing’s indomitable spirit and his love for the missions flourish even today, some forty-plus years since his death. Boston is still in the forefront of the dioceses in the United States in supporting the work of missionaries throughout the world. Our own Society of Saint James the Apostle continues wonderful work in Latin America, and other missionaries carry the Gospel to the farthest corners of the world, sometimes at great personal risk and sacrifice.

Occupying a place of honor in my Pastoral Center office are the sacred vessels that once belonged to Father Jim Hennessy, a Boston priest who served in the Solomon Islands during World War II. His chalice, paten, ciborium, pyx and burse are eloquent reminders to us and to those who visit our offices of the serious commitment for which our missionaries lived and often died. Before Father Hennessy was captured by the Japanese, he buried these prized personal possessions to protect them from desecration; he hoped to return to claim them when the war was over. Sadly, that was not to be the case. Father Hennessy died a martyr’s death because he truly believed that the work of the missions is the holiest work we accomplish as a Church.

I look forward to meeting many of you in person as I visit your parishes in the months and years ahead. And I look forward to your continued generous support for the great work of bringing the message of the Gospel to those who would otherwise never hear it.

+Fr. Rodney Copp, J.C.L.

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