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

The Little School That Could…and Did!

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting St. Ann School of Cape Ann in Gloucester.  It was quite literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air. 

God has blessed us with a busy few months here at the Missionary Childhood Association, meaning lots of late nights, followed by early mornings with most of the time in between spent on my feet talking (and talking!) about what I love – the missions.  It seems that I’ve done the ABCs of the Archdiocese: Abington, Brockton, Canton, Duxbury … to Plymouth, Revere and Weymouth!

At the end of February, I found myself in Gloucester thirty minutes before I was expected.  Not wanting to interrupt the beginning of school, I took my World Mission Rosary to the beach to thank God for my blessings and ask Him to get me out of His way while I spoke at St. Ann’s.  This is always my prayer before a presentation.  I know the basic mission message, but only the Holy Spirit knows how each group needs to hear it.  I try my best to leave it to Him.

After sending my prayers out on the ocean breezes, I found St. Ann School and was greeted by Principal Michelle Butler who explained that she described her school as “small but mighty!”  With only 90 students, they were a close knit bunch who got great pleasure from their successful outreach projects in the past.  Missionary Childhood, she felt, would strike a chord in their hearts because it is their faith in action; it is the work of the Church brought to life by the work of their own hands.

The students were engaging.  We sang, we talked and they had many questions about how children in Haiti learn their faith through missionaries supported by MCA.  They promised to continue to pray and sacrifice so the work could continue.
Later, we received a check from St. Ann School for almost $400, which represents candy bars, sodas and chips given up.  It spoke of extra chores done at home and for neighbors to earn mission money.  It was also one of the highest per capita donations we received this year for MCA.  I dubbed them “The Little School that Could.”

As I write this column, I have learned that St. Ann School will close its doors at the end of this school year.  Though I am sad to learn that this school community will be no more, I know that the young missionaries who were formed there will continue to carry the message of their faith wherever they go, knowing that because they are baptized, they are missionaries!
-Maureen Crowley Heil

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