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 15, 2010

Our Baptismal Call to Mission

The Mission Cooperative Appeal Weekend for the Propagation of the Faith at St. Mary of the Hills Parish in Milton made us witnesses to something beautiful: a Baptism! While the people in the pews heard the message that we are called to be missionaries by virtue of the grace received at our Baptism, the parish received a new member AND MISSIONARY into their fold.

It was the perfect teachable moment. At the 10:15 Mass, Fr. Arthur Wright, pastor at St. Mary’s, claimed Jackson Thomas for Jesus and welcomed him into the Catholic family. At that same moment, the grace of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the tiny baby, giving him all the rights and responsibilities of every Catholic – that of living a faith filled-life, according to the teachings of Jesus.

The questions asked at baptism (technically of the baby himself, but answered by his parents and godparents) are those of our Creed. By saying “yes”, Jackson Thomas promised to do what Jesus asks of us all, every day of our lives: to live honestly, kindly, lovingly, in charity and to make him known to all.

To some of us, that idea seems very remote. It’s “others” who God calls to go overseas, cross borders and give up their lives, their culture, and their language to spread the Gospel to the over 1 billion people who have yet to hear it.

In our minds, “real” missionaries are people like Sr. Rosy Malayatty, a Salesian Sister of Don Bosco at the Home of Hope in India. Sister works in the slums of Bangalore Province in orphanages for street girls. In the high city of Hyderabad, police are “sweeping” beggar children off the street. Since they are homeless outcasts of society, they have nowhere to go. The Sisters take them in and care for them, giving them a safe place to lay their heads at night, a daily meal, an education and, most importantly, the knowledge that Jesus loves them.

The truth is, we are all God’s “real” missionaries, not because we are Sisters in an order or priests, or have joined a mission group. We are missionaries because, like Jackson Thomas, we are baptized.

It is our personal call to take Jesus to the world wherever we find ourselves.
- Maureen Crowley Heil

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