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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In the Missions, Sometimes Rank Does Not Have its Privilege

When we think about those who work in the hierarchy of any institution, the Church included, often enough we can conjure up thoughts of those who live better than the rest of us. Indeed, we need look no further than the uproar Pope Francis caused by NOT moving into the beautiful Papal Apartments to understand that many people expect those in leadership positions to live well. 

A recently received letter showed me that in the missions, nothing can be taken for granted, not even the perks of certain positions.  Father Gabriel Msipu is the Finance and Administration Manager for the Zambian Episcopal Conference, which is that country’s equivalent of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington D.C.  Father Gabriel’s problem is unfortunately one that is not uncommon in the missions – lack of access to water. What was startling to me is that it is happening not out in a rural village but at a residence for the priests who work at the Secretariat for the bishops in the capital city of Lusaka. The men who share this house are responsible for the running of the Catholic Pastoral Care, Education, Health, Communications and Evangelization for the Church in their country.

Father Gabriel writes:
For some years now, the priests’ house has experienced serious water problems. The (current) water supply from St. Dominic’s Seminary is very erratic. In most cases, the house has no water at all. In this case, water has to be fetched in buckets from somewhere and kept for domestic use. When there is water flowing, the pressure is very low. We therefore feel that there is a need for this house to have its own borehole, submersible pump and water tank.

The cost of this project - $6841.00 – may as well be millions. It is simply out of their reach.

What can we do? First and foremost, we can pray. Let your own working faucet be a reminder to say a prayer every time you use it, thanking God for the blessing of clean water and remembering those who have no access to it. Second, don’t waste the precious gift! Turn it off while you brush your teeth or do the dishes, realizing that many people cannot afford what we let literally run down the drain.

Last, please donate to the missions with as much regularity and generosity as your means will allow. Your faith filled gift can improve the lives of countless others in the missions.

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-Maureen Crowley Heil

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