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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Parish and School Children Sharing a Common Goal: Mission

The students of the Religious Education program at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Parish and those at Our Lady’s Academy in Waltham started on their mission journey at the end of January this year.  Every student became a member of the Holy Childhood Association, promising to pray and sacrifice for children in the missions.
The week began on Sunday when the Religious Education students met to learn about the work of missionaries who rely on support from the Holy Childhood Association, one of the Church’s four Pontifical Mission Societies.   The children also came to understand that they have a vital role to play in this daily work for a very important reason – they are baptized.  We were blessed to have a child present who remembered her own baptism.  She described the day as one full of joy but also one of responsibility.  Now, she said, it was up to her to share her faith.  The Holy Childhood Association will give her and her classmates the opportunity to do that in ways they never dreamed possible.
A few days later, the students at Our Lady’s Academy learned that they, too, are called to be missionaries because of their baptism.  After spending the morning learning about the missions, with Haiti as the example, we ended the day with a Marian prayer service.  Students processed up the aisle with a huge World Mission Rosary made of chains of construction paper. Each color of this Rosary represents a different part of the mission world.   This line was followed by children carrying images of the Blessed Mother from around the world: Mexico, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Uganda and Zambia.
As we sang “Immaculate Mary”, the processions were met at the front of the gym by others students.  One read a passage from Matthew’s Gospel, telling us that whatever we do (or don’t do) for the least of our brothers and sisters, we do (or don’t do) for Jesus.  Next, students led us in saying a decade of the rosary in English, Spanish, Italian, Haitian Creole and Korean.  We asked Mary, Queen of the Missions, to help us to reach out to children everywhere.
During Holy Week, students gathered in the same gym to present their sacrifices for Holy Childhood and their own parish food bank.  The idea has taken root: we are called to be missionaries no matter where God has put us, reaching out to those around us and to those we will never meet.
-Maureen Crowley Heil

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