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.

Monday, November 14, 2011

No Greater Love

Each year every parish in the Archdiocese of Boston participates in the Mission Cooperative Program. This program enables us to welcome missionaries from all over the world to educate our parishioners about the work of the missions and to offer the opportunity to partner in it through prayer and sacrifice.

One of the missionary communities that has a long history with our office is the Pontifical Institute for the Foreign Missions, known popularly as PIME. The PIME Missionaries were founded in Italy by Pope Pius XI in 1926 and welcomed to the United States in 1947 by Edward Cardinal Mooney, the Archbishop of Detroit. Their “charism” or gift is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ while fostering dialogue and understanding among religions and cultures, to promote human development, justice, and peace, and to provide pastoral care to newly-founded Catholic communities. They minister among the poorest of God’s people in seventeen countries, including the Philippines, in some of the most dangerous venues imaginable.

This danger was brought to light yet again recently with the murder of Father Fausto Tentorio, a PIME missionary working in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato, Philippines. Father Fausto was assigned to the Philippines in 1978. His ministry paid special attention to the rights of the indigenous tribes of the area, since they were among the poorest and most exploited of his people. He was a fearless defender of their rights. Most recently, he was serving as the head of the Tribal Filipinos Apostolate of the Diocese of Kidapawan. Father Tentorio was gunned down – shot eight times - by a lone assassin outside his residence on October 17th. His murderer has not yet been apprehended. I share this information with you for two reasons. First, it reminds each one of us of the risks taken by missionaries, even today, as they fulfill the Gospel mandate to “go forth and teach all nations.” Second, it is heartening to know that Father Tentorio’s fellow missionaries are even more determined in their resolve to continue their vital work among the poorest of God’s people. One of them, Father Giovanni Vettoretto, said: “I am not afraid to stay here. We will continue serving the people here. We just have to be careful.”

Please continue to pray for Father Tentorio’s companions and for all missionaries who bravely lay their lives on the line to share the Gospel message, sometimes at great cost.
-Rev. Rodney J. Copp, J.C.L.

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