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

To Love As Christ Loves

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of hosting in our offices Bishop Augustine Ukwuoma, bishop of the Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria.  Bishop Augustine is spending a couple of weeks in the United States in order to visit with priests from his diocese who are working and studying here.  Accompanying  him were two priests from Orlu who are assigned to Boston parishes—Father Jude, parochial vicar at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Dorchester, and Father Anselm, parochial vicar at Saint Margaret Parish in Burlington.

Bishop Augustine Ukwuoma
One of the reasons that Bishop Augustine wanted to meet with me was to talk about possible participation in our Missionary Cooperative Program for 2014.  He also asked about sharing Mass stipends with his priests.  I explained to the bishop that we are only able to make these stipends available to him for his priests to live on because of the generosity of you, our donors, who continue the time honored tradition of having Masses celebrated for your loved ones, living and deceased.

The Orlu diocese was formed in 1980 and is still growing.  Bishop Augustine is its second bishop and his predecessor is still living and resident in the diocese, thus making possible a living history that is fascinating and fresh.  The Catholics of the Orlu diocese are strong in their faith and very family-centered.  This year they will welcome eighteen newly-ordained priests into the presbyterate, and vocations to the priesthood and religious life are thriving.  The support he will receive from Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston through our Missionary Cooperative Plan as well as through Mass stipends will be an important contribution to that continued growth.

Bishop Augustine is no stranger to the United States, having ministered as a priest in California, Ohio and Georgia while earning a doctorate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  His doctoral dissertation was presented in 1999 on the subject The Sources of Stress for Nigerian Priests.  I joked with him that this was excellent preparation for his role as bishop!  At the time of his ordination as bishop he chose as his episcopal motto, diligere sicut dilexit Christusto love as Christ loves.  It is clear, even from the brief time we spent together, that he lives by his motto and that it motivates his ministry to the people of Orlu.  I look forward to our further collaboration with him as his diocese continues to flourish and grow under his leadership.

For more information on the missionary activity of the Church please see our website —
-Rev. Rodney J. Copp, JCL

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