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.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Giving Mothers and Babies a Chance in the Missions

One of the great blessings of this ministry is the relationships made with others who share the work around the world.  Whether that connection is made through email or in person, we truly feel we are members of One Family in Mission, working constantly to help each other awaken a missionary spirit in the people of our own dioceses and countries.

Fr. Bernard at St. Peter's, Plymouth
Few have been better brothers to me than Fr. Bernard Makadani Zulu, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies for Zambia. Fr. Bernard is known to regular readers as my host during my mission experience in his country in June 2011. He is also known across the Archdiocese of Boston as a participant in our office’s Mission Co Operative program during 2012; he came from Zambia for five weeks and preached mission appeals for the Propagation of the Faith in Whitman, Holliston, Bellingham, Reading and Methuen. He also spoke to Religious Education children in Plymouth for the Missionary Childhood Association! He touched so many here in the Archdiocese and continues that work through emails, letters and pictures that he sends to our office so that we can do our job – informing you, our donors, about the vital work being done because of your prayers and sacrifices.

Fr. Bernard has shared a letter and pictures with me from one of the most vital programs run in a Zambian diocese - that of helping HIV positive mothers and their babies.  In a letter from Sr. Rosa Margarita, Fr. Bernard was told that thanks to support from the Propagation of the Faith, the Mother and Infant Care program in Mongu, Zambia has met and even exceeded their goal of reducing the transmission of HIV from mother to baby through breast milk by 80% in the program participants.  Their methods are simple – educating HIV positive mothers about the necessity of using baby formula instead of breastfeeding and providing an easy way to clean and store water to make the formula in a sanitary manner. The mothers also receive other nutritional supplements for themselves and their babies and further their own vocational training.

Sr. Rosa says, “To improve the lives of those who are directly affected by this pandemic illness, it is essential to support them in personal, social, spiritual, and intellectual ways, achieving a holistic approach to each one of the mothers and through them to their families.”
To all donors, she writes, “This note also goes to you full of gratitude for your kindness in thinking of and helping our people in Mongu. As you know the reality here is very hard and the help received counts a lot. God bless you.”

To read more about the vital work being done through your generosity and prayers, visit
-Maureen Crowley Heil

Around the Archdiocese: Missionary Co-Op 2013

As most of you know, the Missionary Cooperative Program of The Society for the Propagation of the Faith places a missionary bishop, priest, sister, brother, lay person, or member of our office staff in every parish for one weekend a year.  The purpose of “MCP” is twofold: first, to share information about missionary work and second to raise prayerful and financial support for that work.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my assignment as Archdiocesan Director is the opportunity to visit some of our parishes to speak at the weekend Masses about the work of the missions.  In addition to bringing this “mission message” to the parishioners, it gives me the opportunity to renew acquaintances with our priests, many of whom I already know.
This year I began my Missionary Co-Op preaching at Holy Rosary Parish in Winthrop.  Subsequent weekends were spent at Our Lady of Sorrows in Sharon, St. Susanna in Dedham, St. John the Baptist in Quincy and, most recently, Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown.  Still to be visited are St. Margaret Mary in Westwood and Saint Ann Parish in Peabody.  Every parish is different, but I find in all of them openness to the message of prayer and support for the missionary work of the Church.
My visit to Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown recently was really like “going home.”  In forty years as a priest, I have spent most of my time in the Waltham, Belmont and Watertown area, and so I knew many of the parishioners by name; their capable and affable pastor Father Joseph Curran and I were in the seminary together.  It was a pleasure to spend time in such familiar and friendly surroundings.  As I continue my journey around the Archdiocese, I look forward to visiting more parishes during the coming year to spread the good news about the Society of the Propagation of the Faith and about the heroic witness of the missionaries who carry the Gospel message to every corner of the world.