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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

God in the Marketplace

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting with Father Herbert Jones, O.Carm. and his staff when I preached at Saint Therese Chapel in the NorthShore Mall in Peabody. Once again, my work as Director of The Society for the Propagation of the Faith brought me back to “home territory.” During my high school years I served Mass for the Carmelite Fathers every afternoon and worked for a time in the Gift Shop that they operate in the NorthShore Mall. Although I answered the call to serve God as a diocesan priest and not as a Carmelite, I credit the Carmelite Fathers and Brothers with having a strong influence on my priestly vocation. Throughout the years I have maintained close contact with many members of the Order who had a great effect on me and my decision to become a priest.

The Carmelites have staffed the Chapel since Cardinal Cushing invited them to establish this innovative ministry in 1959. The Chapel opened in 1960 and since then they have provided devoted ministry to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. This is the only place in the area where one can easily find priests available for confession at any time, attend one of three daily Masses, and patronize a wonderful gift shop to find that last-minute wedding, first communion, or confirmation gift. Their tireless service to the people of the surrounding communities gives life to the Order’s motto on their shield: With zeal I have been zealous for the Lord of hosts.

Preaching for The Society for the Propagation of the Faith at the Chapel was particularly appropriate, since it is dedicated to Saint Therese of Lisieux, patroness of the foreign missions and the Carmelites of this province have had a long-standing missionary presence in South America. We pray for all missionaries, but especially this week for the dedicated missionaries of the Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, as they continue their work of sharing the Good News of Christ in the marketplace.
-Fr. Rodney J. Copp, J.C.L.

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