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, February 6, 2012

Migration and the New Evangelization

January 15, 2012 was celebrated by the Universal Church as the World Day for Migrants and Refugees. On that occasion, Pope Benedict XVI reminded all of us that, although these men, women, and children are the recipients of charitable outreach, they are also called to be missionaries as they find their way to new and stable communities.

In his Angelus talk on the fifteenth, the Holy Father referred to the Scripture readings for that day. The theme of these readings was “vocation” in the broad sense of the term. Samuel, in the Old Testament reading for the liturgy, heard and answered the call of God. Likewise, Peter, Andrew, James and John willingly left all to follow Jesus and preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

The Holy Father chose as the theme for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees, “Migration and the New Evangelization.” As we look to the New Evangelization, both in the Archdiocese of Boston and in the Universal Church, Pope Benedict urged all of us to see the phenomenon of migration as a providential opportunity for the proclamation of the Gospel in the contemporary world. Migrants themselves have a special role in this regard because they in turn can become “heralds of God’s word and witnesses to the Risen Jesus, the hope of the world.”

All of this serves as a challenge to “cradle Catholics” as they welcome people from different cultures and races into our neighborhoods, churches, civic organizations and schools. We, who may never be required to leave home to engage in missionary activity, need to remember that on the day of our baptism we were commissioned as missionaries who are called to bring the Gospel message even to the small, secure part of the world in which we live. Ours is both a local and a global task. Our Holy Father concludes, Christian communities are to pay special attention to migrant workers and their families by accompanying them with prayer, solidarity and Christian charity, by enhancing what is reciprocally enriching, as well as by fostering new political, economic, and social planning that promotes respect for the dignity of every human person, the safeguarding of the family, access to dignified housing, to work and to welfare.

As we “go forth and teach all nations,” we thank God for the gift of our own faith and pledge to share it with others to the best of our ability.

For more information about the work of spreading the Gospel message, see our website,

Photo courtesy of Catholic News Service through Pontifical Mission Societies in the USA

-Rev. Rodney J. Copp, JCL

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