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.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Greatest of These is Love

This past week I welcomed to our offices in Braintree Father Mathew, a priest of the Order of Saint Camillus (Camillians). Camillus de Lellis, (1550-1614), the founder of this religious community, traveled a somewhat circuitous route in his journey of faith. He was, at one point, a soldier who lived a fairly dissolute life. Following his spiritual conversion he first attempted to join the Capuchin Franciscans, but was unable to continue in that community due to his physical infirmities. After much soul searching and prayer, he founded a new community of priests and brothers dedicated to the care of the sick. He took as his inspiration the words of Jesus: as often as you did it for one of the least of my brothers or sisters, you did it for me.

The Camillians recently celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of their ministry in the Archdiocese of Bangalore, India. There they operate a multi-faceted program directed toward helping those who suffer from HIV/AIDS. While they minister to people of all ages, their major focus is assisting children who are victims. They operate the SNEHA Care Home for orphaned children with HIV. They provide a loving and protective environment, a value-based education, psychosocial support, medical care, a home free from stress and prejudice, and improved confidence and self-esteem for their little clients.

Father Mathew wanted to acquaint me with his work and to request inclusion in our Archdiocesan Missionary Cooperative Program for 2012. In listening to his story, I was convinced of the importance of his apostolate and look forward to welcoming him back to the Archdiocese next year as a participant in our Missionary Cooperative Program.

Father Mathew’s story is compelling. Perhaps you will be fortunate enough to hear it in your own parish when he visits in the summer of 2012. Your generosity will enable Father Mathew and those who minister to the “least of the brothers and sisters” to bring the Gospel message and the hope of a better life to those who suffer.

For more information on the missionary activity of the Church, please visit our website at

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