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.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Missionary Spirit Means “Paying it Forward”

Last week, I was visited in our offices by two bishops from India, Bishop Francis Antonisamy from the Diocese of Kumbakonam and Bishop Stanley Roman from the Diocese of Quilon. The missionary bishops who visit us are thoughtful and generous and always bring gifts to us. Bishop Antonisamy brought me a beautiful gold shawl. Bishop Roman brought some almonds that were grown in his country—a strong symbol of the fruits of the labors of his people. These gifts are their way of expressing friendship and esteem for the person they are visiting. In fact, if you check out Cardinal Sean’s blog this week, you will see a picture of him with Bishop Antonisamy. The Cardinal is wearing a shawl similar to the one the bishop brought to me. I was honored to be the beneficiary of their kindness.

The civil government in India makes it difficult for young Christian men and women to obtain an education. Catholics are just five percent of the local population—a clear minority. Your generosity to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith enables the bishops to pay tuition expenses for a few students each year. The hope is that, once these young men and women are educated and have good jobs, they will be able to help others do the same. It is this kind of “paying it forward” that allows the Church to grow and to allow Gospel values to influence their communities.

To add to the challenges, most of the priests in these dioceses serve in widespread and remote areas and among people who are struggling to survive financially. Neither the diocese nor its local parish communities can adequately support them. The provision of medical care and insurance is another responsibility that devolves solely on the local bishop. The Mass stipends sent to these missionary priests from our office in Boston provide significant support to them as they live and preach the Gospel message.

If you would like to know more about the Diocese of Kumbakonam you may check it out on the web at http://www.dioceseofkumbakonam.org/. The web address of the Diocese of Quilon is http://www.quilondiocese.org/.

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

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