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.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Stop for a moment and take a look at the hands that God gave you.     For what purpose do you use them?  Most of us will probably answer that question the same, no matter who we are – we work with them, play with them, love each other with them.  In the missions, the work may look different than ours, as most people grow their food or scavenge for some small treasure to sell but, at the end of the day, they have finished their own work.  Every day around the world, we use our hands to hold our children, feed ourselves and hopefully, give thanks to God.

This last week, my hands have been privileged to serve a dear and      dying friend, Flo.  Flo has lived with colon cancer for 10 years and it        is finally winning its nasty fight.  Throughout the battle, Flo’s hands     have never stopped.  Besides the familiar tasks of raising her four      boys and loving her husband with those hands, Flo worked at a         pharmacy where she considered it her ministry to be gentle with        those who are not always at their best – people who are sick, in pain,    and just want their medicine, NOW!
Flo uses her hands – even now as we approach her death - to pray, almost constantly.  We became friends through a network of women    who have come to be known as “The Chicks”.  Our group met weekly       to say the rosary and when all the other prayer groups at our              parish started naming themselves (Spirit Alive! Faith Within!) one of        us commented with a little frustration, “We’re just a bunch of chicks       who like to say the rosary!” It stuck.
Flo O'Leary (center, front) and The Chicks
Flo not only constantly fingered the beads of her rosary, she also        created them. Once I started my mission ministry, she made               World Mission Rosaries for me to give to school and parish                  
children through the Missionary Childhood Association. As she used     her hands to create those cherished prayer beads, she would pray        for the recipient, still unknown to either of us. Flo felt that through         her hand work, she had become a missionary – giving, through prayer, to the vital work of the spread of the Gospel around the world, though she never left her own home while her hands worked.

So now, as my hands and the hands of the other Chicks do the work of lifting her, turning her, and soothing her, we join our hands in prayer for the countless others who use their hands daily in service of others, for the glory of God and His people, wherever their hands labor.

-Maureen Crowley Heil

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