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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Celebrating the Hope that Saves!

On Sunday October 23, 2011, our Archdiocesan World Mission Sunday celebration took place at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. As every Catholic parish around the world paused to celebrate the missionary work of the Church, here in Boston we focused more specifically on the 100th anniversary of Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the American Foreign Mission Society. Co-founded by Bishop James Anthony Walsh (with Fr. Thomas Price) while he was the Director of our Mission Office here in Boston, Maryknoll continues to be hard at work serving God’s poor around the globe. We were honored to be joined by retired Maryknoll Bishop William McNaughton, the extended Walsh family, employees of Maryknoll from New York and many Maryknoll missionaries.

Led by celebrant, Cardinal Seán O’Malley OFM Cap, our World Mission Sunday Mass brought together many of the missionaries and ethnic groups represented in our Archdiocese along with donors to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Through the graciousness of Maryknoll, Cardinal Seán used Bishop Walsh’s chalice during the Mass. Readings were proclaimed in Cantonese and Portuguese while Intercessory Prayers were offered in Lugandan, Spanish, Cantonese, Portuguese, Swahili and English. Our music was beautifully presented by the Archdiocesan Black Catholic Choir, the Cape Verdean Choir of St. Edith Stein Parish in Brockton, the Ugandan Martyr’s Choir of St. Mary Parish in Waltham and the Vietnamese Community Choir of St. Ambrose Parish in Dorchester. Each of the approximately 600 people in attendance received a World Mission Rosary; Cardinal Seán blessed the rosaries during Mass.

Gifts were also offered by missionaries who represented all those who take part in our yearly Missionary Cooperative Program.

Before the final blessing, representatives from Parish religious education programs and Catholic schools that participated in the mission education programs of the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) during the last school year accepted a certificate of appreciation.

Cardinal Seán stressed he is very eager to have all Archdiocesan students become members of HCA, helping them to understand that we are all called to be missionaries, not just on World Mission Sunday, but because we are baptized!

After our colorful Liturgy, everyone was invited to a light luncheon at the Cathedral High School across the street. While the choirs performed encores, our guests chatted with the missionaries present to hear about the work being done around the world through support from the Pontifical Mission Societies. They also had a chance to take home information and educational material explaining all four Societies and their different charisms.

As we went our separate ways, all agreed that it was a great event: our One Family in Mission came together at our family table, the altar, to unite ourselves to the universal Church. May the celebration continue year round!

-Maureen Crowley Heil

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