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.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Monthly Donors: A Regular Mission Commitment

Over the years, many donors have made the commitment to the Missions in a regular but profound way: they are Monthly Donors. They receive a calendar of monthly envelopes and return them to us with contributions large and small. By giving a regular gift, our Monthly Donors help missionaries around the world proclaim the Gospel.

We hear from missionaries with the same regularity as donors; they share stories and pictures of ongoing service to others in Christ’s name. Recently, we heard from Fr. Sunder Ery. As parish priest for Holy Rosary Church in Porumamilla, India, he is responsible for all 20 Village Mass Centers that come under his parish jurisdiction. Daily, Father visits them to celebrate Mass and give catechetical instruction. Because of the extreme poverty, Father provides many locals with transportation to and from these lessons; he also must coordinate meals for the elderly. Still, he sees the fruits of his labors, supported by the Propagation: a recent parish celebration was attended by not only forty three Indian Bishops and priests but also 8000 local parishioners!

Our Monthly Donors helped to make this celebration happen!

As an added “Thank You” to our regular donors, we are adding another facet to the Monthly Donor program to honor a great figure from our history in the Archdiocese of Boston: Richard Cardinal Cushing. Known around the world as the “Mission Bishop”, Cardinal Cushing was instrumental in bringing missionary orders and speakers to Boston so that we could learn about the work of the Church in faraway places. Our Cardinal Cushing Club will bring together our regular donors for prayer and fellowship, and to learn more about the ongoing work of individual missionaries.

Our first event will be on October 24, 2010 -- World Mission Sunday. Celebrated in every parish in the world on the same day, World Mission Sunday brings together our Mission Family: cultural and ethnic communities represented in the Archdiocese of Boston gather around the table of the Lord for Mass and to honor the missionaries that brought the faith to their homelands. Watch this space for details!

For information on how to join the Cardinal Cushing Club and become a regular Mission Monthly Donor, call 617-542-1776 or email us at [email protected].

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Prayer + Sacrifice = Faith in Action

One of the lessons learned by children in school is that some things always add up. One plus one will always equal two; a square will always have four sides. So it is with the membership in the Holy Childhood Association: prayer and sacrifice will ALWAYS add up to faith in action.

The students at St. Michael School in Hudson, MA have been learning this lesson well for generations, thanks to years of dedicated faculty and principals. As an alumna of St. Michael and the Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies here in the Archdiocese of Boston, it has been my privilege to give back to the current students the lessons that I learned there through my involvement in the Mission programs.

At the beginning of Lent, I traveled to Hudson once again to bring new Mission stories to the students. I told them of my trip to Ecuador where I met children who were also members of HCA. They live in the jungle area of Puyo, Ecuador; many walked for hours to reach the local Catholic radio station to attend a rally and celebrate their membership in HCA. They prayed, sang and danced, proudly wearing their HCA T-shirts. At the end of the celebration, they brought out a large basket and began to fill it with change. I watched as these children, some of whom were wearing their only set of clothing and were guaranteed only one meal that day, sacrificed what little they had.
Why would they do that? The answer, to them, was simple. They knew there were children in the world who were poorer than they were because they did not know who Jesus was. These little ones in Ecuador wanted to give the gift of faith to others because, through HCA, they had learned it was the job of ALL baptized Christians to do so.

After hearing this story, the students at St. Michael School told me, on camera, how they would make things add up in Hudson. They then raised $575 for the Missions during Lent!

To see the video, go to our website – - and click on the HCA “What’s New Now” page. In five minutes you’ll see how our students are learning the “faith equation”:

Prayer + Sacrifice = Faith in Action.

-Maureen Crowley Heil

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Missions Come to Boston: Telling the Stories

Here in the Mission Office, we oversee many programs; all of them have a different place in the family quilt that make up the four Pontifical Mission Societies. One of our more visible programs is for the Propagation of the Faith – the Mission Co-operative program.

Every year, we receive letters from missionaries asking for the opportunity to come to Boston and do one thing – tell the story of their life’s work, that of the spread of the Gospel. In their letters, we hear that words alone are not enough. Their Christ-like actions on behalf of the most marginalized people of our world make them a beacon of hope for those they serve.

We prayerfully invite to speak in local parishes those we feel represent the greatest cross section of the mission world: Priests, Sisters, brothers and lay people at work around the globe.

And so, they come to share their stories.

This year, we will hear from Bishop Paul Duffy, O.M.I. Born and raised in Norwood, MA, Bishop Duffy serves as the head of the Diocese of Mongu, Zambia. The struggles faced by his people are very different from those he was raised with: food and medicine are scarce and natural disasters compound the suffering of the poor. Zambia is also at the heart of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Bishop Duffy has been central to the set-up of AIDS outreach programs and the establishment of an AIDS Hospice.

Local parishes will also hear from Holly Benner, Founder of “Needs for Africa”. Holly’s story is one that will inspire us all to think about the effect that one person can have on the world. A convert to Catholicism, Holly felt God calling her to bring clean water to those in Africa. She started by selling pizzas and baked goods out of the trunk of her car in Bethlehem, PA. Four years later, “Needs for Africa” is funding wells and boreholes in villages in Nigeria and Tanzania, at a clinic in Uganda and at an orphanage in Kenya. She is a marvelous example of how one person's faith can truly change the world.

As members of our One Family in Mission, we welcome Bishop Duffy, Holly Benner and all the visiting Missionaries to our home in Boston. As we gather around our Family table at the Eucharist, we pray for their safety and success as they share their stories with the rest of our family – you.

-Maureen Crowley Heil