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, September 21, 2010

St. Bonaventure Parish: Welcome to Our One Family in Mission

In June, I had the privilege of representing the Propagation of the Faith speaking at all the Masses at St. Bonaventure Parish in Manomet, MA. The parishioners heard about our “One Family in Mission” and the work done in the name of all baptized Catholics by the four Pontifical Mission Societies. By explaining all four Societies in brief, it brought me to the story of a missionary that I believe embodies our work best.

Fr. Tom Hagan, OSFS runs a group called Hands Together in Haiti; I visited him there in 2003 and marveled at the work that he accomplishes. I shared the stories from my trip with the people of St. Bonaventure – how I was up at 5 every morning for Mass and Morning Prayer in English and Creole, helping in a Feeding Center for children. We would move on to a Wound Care Clinic where I helped to stitch and clean wounds of the homeless of Port-au-Prince. Next was the HIV/AIDS hospital – most patients received palliative care only. My job was to massage their aching bodies and help them find some relief from chronic pain. Since my Creole was basic at best, I found that singing to them was the best way of communicating. Soon the patients and I were taking turns, singing to each other!

After one of the Masses in Manomet, I was approached by someone wanting to learn more about our children’s mission society, the Holy Childhood Association. Rachel Patnaude, DRE for the parish, was intrigued by the idea that her students could make a difference through their faith for children around the world.

We agreed that I would come to speak to all three summer sessions (and the fall session too!) about HCA; the students were excited to learn that because they were baptized, they were missionaries!

They promised to pray and sacrifice every day for the rest of the summer for children around the world that don’t share in our spiritual and material blessings. By summer’s end, countless Hail Marys were said daily and over $500 was sacrificed.

Our One Family in Mission is blessed by the membership of parishioners both young and old at St. Bonaventure.

For more information on how to enroll your children as members of the Holy Childhood Association, please call me at 617-779-3871 or email .
-Maureen Crowley Heil

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