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.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

THINKING ‘FAMILY’ AT CHRISTMAS: The Loving Service of Religious Sisters in the Missions

In thinking about Christmas, children are immediately brought to mind. So many children in the Missions live with immense suffering, poverty, violence and all the related challenges. Thanks to the work and witness of Religious Sisters, these children also come to experience the message of God’s great love for us all, the “Good News” proclaimed by the angels that first Christmas.

On the island of Nias, Indonesia, a local Religious Community staffs an orphanage, as well as a school. The Sisters also visit a home for disabled children. “We help them to realize that they are not alone and that Jesus loves them,” explains Sister Adelina. “We love them as family.”

A continent away, in Zambia, Africa, Sister Ruby can tell you without hesitation who her family is – the orphans in Lusaka. As director of the Home of Joy in that city, she and her Sisters offer a home and education to orphans and children at risk. “These children who have lost their natural parents or whose parents are dying need to be loved and accepted by others,” Sister Ruby explains. “Our work requires providing the basic necessities of life. But above all, it is our actions that must help these young people feel that loving acceptance.”

“It is,” she adds, “what the Lord Himself would show them.”

In the Missions, at Christmas and throughout the year, there are countless children who need the care of the family of God. In so many of these places, they find that loving heart in the words and actions of Religious Sisters.

How can you make a difference for these children and the Sisters who bring them Christmas joy every day?

Your prayers are your first and greatest gift. Your financial support is needed as well. Whatever sacrifice you can make will be a blessing for the Missions – and most appreciated, especially in these challenging financial times here at home!

May you and your families know great joy and experience our Lord’s boundless love at Christmas and throughout the New Year!

Using Time and Talent to Support the Missions

One lesson taught through programs of the Holy Childhood Association is that of offering up your time and talent as well as your treasure for children in the missions. Believe it or not, the treasure is the easy lesson! When the children are handed a Mite Box or Coin Folder in Advent or Lent, they know what to do – fill it with sacrificed treasure. They do this by giving up sodas or candy bars, offering part of their allowance, doing extra chores for payment or emptying their pockets of spare change every day.

Sometimes, the time and talent offerings require a little more prayerful thought. When I visit the schools, they hear suggestions: if they sing or play musical instruments, they could visit a nursing home with friends and put on a concert, offering up the time spent for children in the missions who don’t have access to music lessons because their school (if they have one) barely has the basics. They can stand at the lunch room door and hold it, letting everyone go first, knowing they may not get a seat with their friends and by the time they get in, the French fries might be cold, or worse – gone! If they say a prayer as they stand there, offering their time for children in the missions who won’t eat that day, they are sacrificing for the missions just as concretely as any coin offered.

At this time of year, the Holy Childhood Association gives Catholic children another opportunity; we invite them to enter our Christmas Artwork Contest. By spending time and using their talent to draw a picture of a Christmas scene, children can enter a contest to have their work used as e-greetings on our National HCA website ( The Grand Prize winner’s art is made into the Christmas card used by HCA National Director Msgr. John Kozar. Winners’ artwork also hangs in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. during Advent. Rules and entry forms can be found on our website: Click on the Holy Childhood page, then the Christmas Artwork page. For more information, email [email protected] or call me at 617-779-3871. Deadline for entry is January 31, 2010.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Spirit of Advent: Sharing the Mission Message

As a mother, I worry about the difference between nagging and nudging; when I nag my children, I’m making demands, often being critical of something they have not done. When I nudge them, I’m getting their attention in a gentler manner. I am still (hopefully) prodding them into action.

During Advent, the students of St. Mary of the Hills School in Milton are allowing the national programs of the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) do just that – nudge them further into motion for the missions. The students are praying and making personal sacrifices so young people everywhere will come to know about Jesus’ message of hope, peace and love.

For the students at St. Mary’s, however, no nagging was necessary! These mission minded youngsters started off their school year by becoming members of the Holy Childhood Association. They received their Fall Newsletter and learned about the way their counterparts live, learn and love God in Thailand. Next, the school hosted a mission visit from our office. That day, the students learned they weren’t missionaries because they were HCA members but because they were baptized! They learned they have had a privilege not afforded to over 1 billion people on our planet – that of hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ proclaimed to them. St. Mary’s students found this unacceptable. With their missionary momentum building, the students decided to have a bake sale, offering up for the missions their time and talent of cooking, baking and assembling saleable sized bags of tasty treats. Proceeds went to the missions of Haiti.

As Advent arrived, so did the HCA Mite boxes along with the Teacher’s guides. The guides are filled with mission prayers and activities (focusing on the children of Nepal this time) to remind members of the need to stay “awake” during this season; Jesus needs each one of us, children included, to be ready to show Him to the entire world one person at a time if necessary!

By being active members of the Holy Childhood Association, the young people of St. Mary of the Hills School are nudging each other to share the love of Jesus.

How will you share His message this Advent?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Give the Gift of Hope to the Missions

As Catholics, our faith tells us that Advent is a season of preparation. It’s a time to begin anew, to ready ourselves for the presence of the Christ Child in our hearts. Our society, however, pulls us in another direction and we find ourselves faced with the same question each year as Christmas approaches: what new ideas can we come up with for all those hard to please people on our lists?

Surely Uncle John doesn’t NEED another pair of argyle socks. How many more scarves can Aunt Nancy use? More importantly, is there a better, more faith filled way to bring happiness to our loved ones as we celebrate the real meaning of Christmas?

At the Propagation of the Faith, we believe that giving the gift of hope to those who live in mission countries is a great way to tell your friends, family and the world that you love them and your Catholic faith.

For a donation of $5.00 each, Christmas Mass and Novena Enrollments are available. By choosing to support the missions, your gift helps untold numbers of people. Most obviously, it benefits the intentions of the person for whom the Mass or Novena is said. But your gift also makes it possible for us to send Mass Offerings to missionary priests who say them.

Some of these Offerings will also be sent to the International Secretary General of the St. Peter the Apostle Society, Msgr. Jan Dumon at the Vatican. It is his job to oversee the Pontifical Mission Society which partners with the Propagation of the Faith to raise up a local clergy in the missions. Msgr. Dumon tells compelling stories of turning away applicants at mission seminaries for a sad reason: there is no money to pay the professors. Your gift to the missions this Christmas could enable a young man to say “Yes!” to God’s call to the priesthood, thereby enriching the whole Catholic family.

For more information about giving the gift of hope and faith in Jesus Christ to your loved ones and the missions, please call 617-542-1776 or email us: [email protected]