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, June 13, 2013

Sharing the Motherhood of Mary

This week I met with two Sisters who are members of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate.  They came to our offices to request inclusion in our Missionary Cooperative Program in 2014.  Their Congregation was founded in Nyeri, Kenya in 1918 by Bishop Philip Perlo, an Italian missionary. The first group was made up of five girls.  Since their founding their numbers have grown steadily. Currently they number more than four hundred Sisters and are missioned in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and the United States.  Accompanying them was Father Robert Mwai, the priest in charge of ministry to the Kenyan community in the Archdiocese of Boston and who lives in residence at Saint Michael’s Parish in Lowell.

The Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate currently staff and provide administration for ten primary and three secondary schools throughout East Africa.  They also maintain three orphanages, two hospitals and five clinics in the region.  They provide vocational training through three skill-development centers and are presently establishing university-level educational opportunities for the poorest young men and women of Africa.
The two Sisters shared some disturbing information with me during their visit.  In the countries where they work starvation, HIV and AIDS, the lack of clean drinking water and other health problems afflict millions of adults and children.  In addition, social problems abound.  It is not uncommon for girls as young as ten years of age to be given in marriage to much older men.  The Sisters confront these issues with service in health care, education, catechesis and social work.  They are the workers on the “front lines” and provide a strong defense of the youth to whom they minister.  Many of the children whom they shelter are orphans whose parents have succumbed to the poor sanitation and the numerous diseases that they live with day after day.  The average life expectancy in East Africa is less than forty-five years.

I was happy to meet with the Sisters and to hear their message.  May God continue to bless their vital work and help it to grow. 
-Rev. Rodney J. Copp, JCL

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