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, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter from Our Family to Yours!

In the name of the staff of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Archdiocese of Boston, I extend to all of you our prayerful best wishes for a happy and holy Easter season. As we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and his commission to share our faith with others, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the extensive work of the Church in fulfilling that commission.

Most Catholics are familiar with The Society for the Propagation of the Faith. However, not as many people know that this is one of only four Societies commissioned to represent Pope Benedict all over the world as the official and Vatican-based missionary arm of the Catholic Church. Our Societies are known as “Pontifical” because they represent the Holy Father’s presence in every (Arch) Diocese in the world.

The Society for the Propagation of the Faith was formed in France in 1822 by Pauline Jaricot. Today, it supports the work of missionaries in over 1150 mission dioceses around the world. In the Archdiocese of Boston, we assist with this effort in a number of ways, particularly through the Mission Cooperative Plan which brings missionaries into every parish once a year to raise funds for their work.

The Society of Saint Peter Apostle was also founded in France in the nineteenth century. Its mandate is to support seminary education and the formation of men and women religious in the missions. It too is assisted by the Missionary Cooperative Program.

The Holy Childhood Association is the educational arm of the Pontifical Mission Societies. It provides for mission education in Catholic schools and parish Religious Education programs from pre-school through Confirmation. Here in Boston, Cardinal Sean O'Malley has asked that everyone educating our Catholic students rely on the programs of HCA to help their students realize their own missionary vocation.

Finally, The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious, founded in 1916, addresses the spiritual support of missionaries throughout the world. This spiritual apostolate addresses itself to those called to bring Catholics to a better understanding of their baptismal responsibility for the Church’s missionary work.

These four Societies received the title of “Pontifical” in 1922 and their central administration was transferred to Rome. National offices exist in more than 120 countries. Today, this “family” of mission societies is the Church’s primary means to inform Catholics about her worldwide missionary work and encourage their active participation—through prayer and sacrifice—in those efforts.

-Rev. Rodney J. Copp, J.C.L.

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