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.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Good News Proclaimed Through Art

Every year, our National Pontifical Mission Societies office sponsors a Christmas Artwork contest for students in Catholic schools, parish Religious Education programs, and Catholic Home School programs in grades K-8.  Under the auspices of the Missionary Childhood Association, the contest invites students to share their God-given artistic talents to proclaim the Good News of Jesus’ birth.  Every year, more than 10,000 children enter; only 24 winners are chosen from across the United States.

Recently, it was my privilege to escort the TWO winners from Boston and one of each of their parents to the awards celebration and Mass at the National Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, where their artwork is on display for all of Advent!
Dominic Udoakang from the Cathedral School in Boston and Jacinta Karanja from St. Patrick School in Lowell, both fourth graders, were awarded plaques with copies of their drawings by Msgr. Robert Furhman, Assistant National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States.   
Their artwork was also made into e-greetings on our national website (www.MCAkids.org) so that children around the world can send their friends and family online mission-themed Christmas greetings.  In addition, Dominic’s and Jacinta’s beautiful drawings was made into Christmas cards here in Boston and used as our own office’s Christmas greetings to schools, parishes and benefactors.
Both Dominic and Jacinta represented Boston admirably in Washington DC: they are bright, polite, and attentive children who are a credit to their families, their schools and their Archdiocese.  What made their awards particularly moving for all of us was the mission connection. Dominic’s family is from Nigeria and Jacinta’s is from Kenya. Both parents were quick to admit that were it not for the work of Catholic missionaries in their home countries, they would not have received a quality education themselves.
As we admired the children’s work, an older couple looked over our shoulders and congratulated Dominic and Jacinta. They happened to be touring the Shrine that day and asked what the art exhibit was about.  When we related the whole story, including the winners’ family origins, the couple’s eyes welled up and they smiled. They explained that they were from Finland but had spent two years of their lives in Kenya as missionaries, teaching children.
And so, there we stood, young and old, African, European, American connected by the Good News…and the missions.
To enter this year’s Artwork Contest by January 31, 2013, go to www.propfaithboston.org, click on the Missionary Childhood section and go to the artwork page.
-Maureen Crowley Heil

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