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 23, 2011

Christ Is All Things

This year, on World Mission Sunday, October 23rd, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the canonization of three new saints for the Church. One of them, Saint Guido Conforti, is the founder of the Xaverian Missionaries, a religious community that has strong ties to the Archdiocese of Boston.

Guido Conforti was born on March 30, 1865 in the Diocese of Parma, Italy. Guido entered the seminary in his home diocese at age seventeen over the objections of his father. Following his ordination in 1888 at the age of twenty-three he quickly moved into positions of leadership in the diocese. He was, in a very short period of time, a seminary professor, Vice-Rector of the seminary, and Vicar for Clergy. Ultimately, he was named Bishop of Parma.

Prior to being named bishop of Parma, the young Father Guido founded the Xaverian Missionaries in 1895. This fledgling community took as its inspiration the life and missionary activity of Saint Francis Xavier, the Patron of the Missions. Before its founding, he wrote to Cardinal Ledokowsky, the prefect of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in Rome, detailing his vision: The foremost mission of this community is to preach the Gospel among those who still do not know it. I wish to ask, as a preference, the lands of Asia for its immense territory with millions of peoples who have not yet heard the Gospel. Asia was the field of apostolic work of St. Francis Xavier, and I wish to dedicate the future congregation to this great missionary.

The first Xaverian seminary was opened in Parma on the feast of St. Francis Xavier, December 3, 1895. Fourteen students began studies for the missionary priesthood under the motto Caritas Christi urget nos…the love of Christ impels us. The beginnings were difficult and Saint Guido would later have to deal with other challenges, including his own fragile health. However, God has blessed the community and, as they celebrate the canonization of their founder, they can look with pride to a history of missionaries who have served not only in Asia, but in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Oceania as well, covering all parts of the mission world.

We will mark the canonization of Saint Guido with a Mass of Thanksgiving to be offered in Saint Bridget Church in Framingham on Sunday, December 11th at 1:00 p.m. Come and join the Xaverians and Cardinal Sean as we give thanks to God for the presence of Saint Guido’s sons in our Archdiocese.

Photos Courtesy of Xaverian Missionaries

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

No comments:

Post a Comment