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, September 29, 2009

World Mission Sunday -- October 18th

If you saw last week’s entry, you read that everyone in the Archdiocese is invited to join our One Family in Mission as we celebrate World Mission Sunday on October 18th at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston at 11:30 AM. Cardinal Sean O’Malley will be our principal celebrant and homilist. We have invited Bishops, priests, deacons, Religious Brothers and Sisters and lay people from across the Archdiocese and around the world (missionaries all, by virtue of their Baptism!) to be a part of our Eucharistic celebration. We hope you are able to join us as we join our prayers with those being said around the world for the Missions.

If you are unable to make it to the Cathedral, however, does this mean that you miss out on the occasion? Of course not! World Mission Sunday is celebrated in every Catholic parish in every diocese around the world – that means yours! Here at the Propagation of the Faith, we have been hard at work so every parish in the Archdiocese of Boston can fully enjoy the day in their home church. Parish secretaries have received posters, leaflets and bulletin announcements explaining the significance of the day; priests, deacons and parish leaders have received guides explaining the background of this world-wide celebration of our faith, along with stories from the missions and ideas to tie in the readings of the day with those stories. They also received a copy of Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for World Mission Sunday in which the Holy Father asks all Catholics to “…renew our commitment to proclaiming the Gospel…”

We would not have been able to accomplish this task of planning for our World Mission Sunday celebrations without the generous cooperation of the Missionary Alliance; this is a group of Mission sending orders, along with the Propagation of the Faith, based in Boston. We have one common goal – the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ through mission education and support. After a lifetime spent at work in the Lord’s vineyard, these great people are now hard at work bringing the missionary message to the people of our Archdiocese, in schools and parishes, in cooperation with the Pontifical Mission Societies.

When you celebrate World Mission Sunday, whether it be at the Cathedral or your home parish, please take a moment to say a prayer of thanksgiving for all those people who answer God’s call to work for the missions in whatever way God calls them – even stuffing envelopes!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Eucharistic Celebration for All the Missions of the World

You are cordially invited to the Celebration of
World Mission Sunday Mass

Cathedral of the Holy Cross
1400 Washington Street
Boston, Massachusetts

Principal Celebrant and Homilist
His Eminence Se├ín P. Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap.
Archbishop of Boston

Following Mass come Meet & Greet Boston’s Missionaries and join us for a light luncheon
in the Cathedral High School Gymnasium.

To RSVP or for more information, please call 617-542-1776
or email [email protected]

Every year, Catholics unite at the Table of the Lord to recommit ourselves to our vocation, through Baptism, to be missionaries. Hosted by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, World Mission Sunday is a universal celebration held in every Catholic parish in the world on the same day. In solidarity, we pray at the Masses said that day for all who long to hear the hope-filled, life-giving message of Jesus’ love and salvation. We also offer our material sacrifices to support the work and witness of those who selflessly give up all for Our Lord and the spread of His Gospel – the local priests, Religious and lay catechists who daily provide loving service to the poor and suffering in the developing world.

We ask for your prayers and generosity on World Mission Sunday in your local parish. If you are able, we invite you to join us at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to add your voice to those of our choirs representing Uganda, Cape Verde, Haiti, China and school children who participate in our Holy Childhood Association programs. Come and witness the Procession of Nations, as representatives of the 28 ethnic communities represented in our Archdiocese carry their flags into our Cathedral, representing the universality of our faith. Gather with us at the Lord’s Table as we come together as One Family in Mission to share our family meal, the Eucharist. At the conclusion of Mass, meet and greet missionaries and learn about their work as you share a light lunch with us.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sometimes, Mission is a Real Circus!

Part of our “One Family in Mission” Team here in the Pontifical Mission Societies’ office is Sr. Lisa Valentini, a Missionary Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sr. Lisa has been visiting the Archdiocese over the summer – many of you have had the pleasure of hearing her speak in your parish as part of the Propagation of the Faith’s Missionary Cooperative Appeal. The MSC Sisters serve in 22 countries around the world; much of their work is supported by the generous prayers and sacrifices made by the donors to all four Pontifical Mission Societies.

On her most recent visit to our office, Sr. Lisa shared with us the charism statement of her order: We, as MSC Sisters, are called to make Jesus known and loved everywhere. Sister feels that this gives her and her Sisters the freedom to be exactly who God calls them to be as His witnesses in the world. The Sisters are nurses, doctors, social workers, teachers…it’s an endless list of professional women sent out into the world to minister to God’s people.

You might be surprised to learn that there are MSC Sisters serving the 300 workers of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus! Sr. Dorothy and Sr. Bernard, who once served in Papua New Guinea, have worked for ten years as teachers and catechists for the child performers and children of the circus workers, most of whom are Catholic and from mission countries. As they travel to perform, the children obviously need to be taught to read and write, but they most importantly need the consistency of Catholic Religious Education. The sisters provide it all, including sacramental preparation; on October 15th, there will be seven First Holy Communions, six Confirmations and a wedding celebrated at St. Michael’s Church in North Andover as the circus makes a stop in the Archdiocese of Boston!

Sister Lisa has been a foreign missionary in Peru, Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic where she was called by God to be a teacher. She is quick to remind us, however, that we are all called to be missionaries, no matter where we live or what our work is because we are baptized. This gives us all a share in her Sisters’ charism: to make Jesus Christ known and loved to the ends of the earth.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Welcome Bishop Antony Pappusamy of Dindigul, India

Recently, we were privileged at the office of the Pontifical Mission Societies to be visited by the Most Rev. Antony Pappusamy, Bishop of Dindigul, India. Bishop Antony came to thank us and you, our donors, for all the help he has received since 2003 when he was named the Bishop of this newly formed Diocese. As you can imagine, building a diocese from scratch is no easy task! But, Bishop Antony tells us that with the help of the Propagation of the Faith, they have made great progress.

The people of Dindigul are very poor. Most earn less than $1.50 a day to support their families. Many are migrant workers, traveling with the planting season to find work. Bishop Antony told us this hurts the children educationally. Parents either take their children with them, leaving school behind so as not to split the family, or are forced to make the heartbreaking choice of letting the children continue in school, leaving them as what is referred to as “semi-orphans”. They have no one to care for them while their parents are gone. In these cases, of course they turn to the Church.

With 112 local priests, 173 Religious women and 27 catechists, the Diocese puts itself at the service of the 2.75 million people of different religions - Christians, Hindus, Muslims – and of different ethnic, social, caste and economic backgrounds trying to uplift the most vulnerable, poor and neglected of their society.

Bishop Antony tells us that his biggest job is education on all levels. Finding competent teachers and catechists is very hard in a place where most people are illiterate. But, through support from each of the Pontifical Mission Societies, schools are being built and staffed, parish communities are coming together under the direction of locally trained clergy and the evangelizing work of the Church goes on.

This is the work of the Propagation of the Faith and it could not be done without your prayers and sacrifices. As we approach World Mission Sunday, October 18th, a day set aside by the Holy Father for remembering the missionary work of the Church at every liturgy said around the world, may we continue to pray for the health, intentions and safety of Bishop Antony and all like him who work to bring the Good News of Jesus to all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcome to the Mission Hub!

With our first posting, we welcome you to the blogspot of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Archdiocese of Boston! We are very excited about this new way to connect with all the people who pray and sacrifice for the spread of the Gospel around the world through all four Societies. By your visits to this page, you will keep yourself connected to what's happening in the Mission world through letters from missionaries, received in our office daily, through stories from Mission Bishops who visit our office to advocate for their people and through pictures and videos that we will post to show you the Missions in "real time".

Our Mission Hub will connect the spokes of all the 1165 mission diocese in the world: places like Port-Au-Prince, Haiti where Fr. Rick Frechette writes that his Street Clinic's services are being cut back because of a lack of funding. This is a place that gives immediate emergency care to poor patients who suffer from everything from TB to blinding eye infections to shingles to AIDS.

We also heard recently from the Passionist Overseas Missions in Honduras asking us to help with the funding of the medical care given to all their patients, especially those suffering from HIV/AIDS. They struggle every day to provide these brothers and sisters of ours with proper medication and a safe place to get treatment, all the while providing the loving care of Jesus through His sacraments.

Fr. Bezwada Samuel John, a parish priest in the Diocese of Vijayawada, India serves the needs of the poorest of the poor around him, reaching out to widows and orphans and street children. He focuses on Faith Formation, even when he has to lead the prayer meetings out in the alleys.

Here in the Archdiocese of Boston, we have a very rich history of responding to the needs of those less fortunate in the missions. This blog will not only chronicle that great past, through pictures found in our archives and first person stories of the mission lived, but also chart our present journey, taking you to the missions through the faith journey and works of today's missionaries. We hope that through the stories, pictures and videos that you will see in these postings, you will be inspired to pray and sacrifice so that missionaries around the world can continue to fulfill the mandate that Jesus left us with: "Go to the ends of the earth and preach my Gospel to every creature!"
8:15:00 AM
by Fr. Tom Kopp & Maureen Heil
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