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.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Missionaries at Home and a World Away

Since we are not called to spread the Good News of Jesus only during one season of the year, it stands to reason that Mission Education must be an ongoing part of our children’s faith formation, whether they are attending a Catholic School or a parish Religious Education program.  The programs of the Missionary Childhood Association help to achieve this goal.  As part of the program, every school and parish is asked to appoint a Mission Moderator; s/he is an interested adult who will coordinate the mission programs year round.  They receive the monthly emails of materials from our office with lesson plans for studying a missionary saint, classroom or homework activities for the students to learn more about the missions, and a life issue affecting the world’s children and how the Catholic Church is reaching out to help them.
The Mission Moderator appoints a few students – Mission Representatives - to be his/her aides in the distribution of materials, hanging of posters, creating mission-themed bulletin boards and even reading mission prayers or leading prayer services for the whole student body when possible.
At Our Lady’s Academy in Waltham, this system proved its worth once again. During my visit to the school in January, students heard about the Church’s work (and therefore their work, through MCA) in the South American country of Ecuador.  Waltham’s children learned that many of the children of Quito, the capital city of Ecuador are homeless and work to feed themselves as shoeshine boys, sidewalk sweepers and errand girls. Though some live on the streets with their families, others are orphans depending on each other for any kind of “family” bond.  Local missionaries visit these children at night bringing hot meals, some basic literacy instruction and most importantly, faith formation – the knowledge that God loves them.
Along with their Mite Boxes, Our Lady’s students received from Mission Moderator Peg Juppe and her Mission Representatives instructions on what food product each grade level should bring in during Holy Week (along with their Mite Box full of sacrifices for MCA)to donate to their parish St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. This made the students missionaries in their home town and a world away!
Their gym’s stage was full of pasta, sauce, peanut butter, jelly, ham, and boxes of macaroni and cheese; in front of the stage was a large clear jug waiting for each homeroom to send a student forward with their mission sacrifices. The students’ cheers grew louder with each contribution until they reached their goal:  a full jar sacrificed for the children of the missions!
To see a video of the students’ missionary success, click here.
-Maureen Crowley Heil

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