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

Rebuilding the Philippines

As the world watches and waits for more detailed reports, news from the Philippines is beginning to emerge in clearer detail about the magnitude of the disaster that was Super Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Yolanda.  The death toll, sure to rise once roads are reopened and the true devastation can be assessed, will be calculated in the tens of thousands; the loss of homes, possessions and livelihoods are incalculable in a country where the average income is only $4500 a year.

Caritas International, a Vatican-based confederation of humanitarian agencies of the Catholic Church, reported that more than 9.5 million people are in need of aid and 600,000 people have been forced from their homes.  The most urgent priorities were emergency shelter, water and sanitation, household items like blankets, kitchen and cookware, potable water and toilets.
Photo Courtesy of PMS Philippines.
Fr. Socrates C. Mesiona, MSP, the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Philippines has made a plea for all of us to help the population of the Philippines rebuild their lives: “We continue to ask for prayer and also for you to provide assistance to our countrymen affected by Typhoon "Yolanda". By the grace of God, we express our sincere prayers to you for your response. Each one of you is our ally!"

The Holy Father, Pope Francis called on everyone to join him as he reached out in prayer and material help “for these brothers and sisters (…) let’s try also to make our concrete help reach them.”  To that end, Cardinal Seรกn has authorized a special collection to be taken up this weekend (November 16-17) in all parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston in support of the critical humanitarian relief efforts to those affected areas in the Philippines and also Viet Nam.  All monies collected will be distributed by Catholic Relief Services. Please be as generous as your means allow.

Know that when the immediate humanitarian crisis is over, our One Family in Mission, the Pontifical Mission Societies, will still be there on the ground helping to rebuild the churches, schools, orphanages, hospitals and faith formation programs that the people of the Philippines count on daily. With your continued support, we will help them rebuild the Church of the Philippines.

In the mean time, please continue to pray for the victims of Haiyan, perhaps by saying the World Mission Rosary with a special focus on the yellow beads for Asia.
-Maureen Crowley Heil

Share the Good News

One of my favorite tasks as Archdiocesan Director is meeting with the priests and people in our parishes.  This is a most enjoyable experience, because it gives me the opportunity to share the message of our work with parishioners and to thank many of them personally for their ongoing support.

Last Monday I visited the monthly meeting of the Sodality at Holy Name Parish in West Roxbury.  Monsignor George Carlson and his staff have created and sustained a vibrant and faith-filled community, with varied opportunities for parishioners of every age and interest to become active in the life of the parish.    The members began their meeting with the recitation of the Rosary and then we celebrated Mass for the feast of Saint Charles Borromeo.  The ministries of lector, extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, and server were aptly organized and flawlessly carried out by the Sodalists.  I felt as if I had celebrated Mass for them on a regular basis!

Following Mass, I had the opportunity to spend some time talking about the missionary activity of the Church and the varied ways in which our office supports that work.  Many Sodality members had fond memories of sacrificing for the missions as children in Catholic schools and religious education programs through our Holy Childhood Association (now Missionary Childhood).  I encouraged them to continue to support the missionary work of the Church through The Society for the Propagation of the Faith. By praying the World Mission Rosary, using our Spiritual Enrollments and Mass cards and by becoming a member in the Cardinal Cushing Club, made up of our regular donors, they can help to ensure the spread of our Catholic faith without ever leaving West Roxbury!

I am most grateful for the warm reception I received at Holy Name.  If you are interested in having a speaker from our office at one of your parish gatherings, please contact me by telephone call or e-mail.  Our office number is 617.542.1776 and e-mail is [email protected]
-Rev. Rodney J. Copp, JCL

Making a Big Difference in a Small Way

Quite often, when I am visiting school or parishes, speaking to groups about the missionary work of the Church and the need for everyone to take responsibility for it, I hear the same feedback: I have so little. How can I make a difference when the problems are so large?
 My first response is clear – we can all pray, daily, for missionaries and the people they serve. 
 It has been a great privilege for me to travel to many mission sites around the world as I do my job and when I ask missionaries anywhere what I can do for them, to a person, their answer is always the same: Pray for us.
As Pope Francis recently said, “Prayer is the bread of faith.”
Of course, missionaries have material needs as well as spiritual ones; you may be surprised at the difference that even the smallest contribution can make to their work.  For that reason, I encourage everyone I meet to regularly use our spiritual enrollment greeting cards for every occasion.  Donors can offer just $3 and choose from birthday, get well, sympathy, thank you, or thinking of you cards, among many others.  We also offer cards for those receiving the sacraments of the Church. Our special Christmas enrollments are offered for $5. 

The person receiving the card becomes enrolled as a member in The Society for the Propagation of the Faith and shares in the intention of 15,000 Masses said over the period of one year by priests in the missions as well as a daily Mass said at the Vatican.
And how does $3 help a missionary’s work?

  • Twelve disabled elderly are fed at a mission clinic in Haiti
  • Six children are vaccinated against polio in Zambia 
  •  Three people suffering from cholera in India will receive life-saving IV fluids
  • Seventy-five children will have pencils for school in Ecuador
Many of us spend so much more on secular greeting cards; their verses sometimes do not quite express exactly what we want to say to the person to whom we are sending it.  Imagine if with every card you send, your message said, “You are so special to me that I’ve asked thousands of missionaries to pray for you!”

For more information about our spiritual enrollment cards and to see our full catalog of the different cards, click here
-Maureen Crowley Heil

World Mission Sunday 2013

Recently, the Church celebrated World Mission Sunday.  Very often we tend to think of the Church in somewhat local terms.  World Mission Sunday reminds us that the Church is universal; that is, a community of the people of God living all over the world.  Our celebration in Boston reflected this rich heritage with the participation of the various ethnic communities represented in the Archdiocese.

The focus of World Mission Sunday is twofold.  First, the Church expresses her gratitude to those countless men and women throughout the centuries who have left home, family, and friends to bring the message of the Gospel to foreign lands.  We salute their devotion and dedication to the work of spreading the “Good News” to people who otherwise would never hear the message of Jesus.  Some have paid with their lives, and we remember that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the faith.  Their heroic devotion to their work as missionaries is an inspiration to us as we live out our own faith commitment.

The second focus of World Mission Sunday is to remind us that baptism makes every Christian a missionary.  It is the fulfillment of Christ’s mandate to “go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  In his message for World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis paid special tribute to the work of The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, a Pontifical Mission Society, as a facilitator of this missionary activity,

The concern for all the Churches that the Bishop of Rome shares with his fellow Bishops finds an important expression in the activity of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which are meant to animate and deepen the missionary conscience of every baptized Christian, and of every community, by reminding them of the need for a more profound missionary formation of the whole people of God and by encouraging the Christian community to contribute to the spread of the Gospel in the world.

As we celebrate World Mission Sunday 2013 I invite each one of you to reflect on your own call to carry out the mission of the Church.  How do YOU respond to the call of Jesus to “go forth and teach all nations?” 

For more information on World Mission Sunday, go to
-Rev. Rodney J. Copp, JCL


Every year, something special happens on the next-to-last Sunday of October – the Church reflects on its deepest identity, that of being missionary.

On World Mission Sunday, October 20th, Catholics of the world  united at Mass to recommit ourselves to our vocation, through baptism, to be missionaries.  We invited you to join us at the Archdiocesan Eucharistic celebration at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross that day at 11:30 AM as missionaries, ethnic choirs, school and parish representatives and Society benefactors gathered to celebrate our precious faith being planted in even the most remote parts of the globe. Through prayers and sacrifices for The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, not only on World Mission Sunday but throughout the year, we are all made witnesses to the miracle of the growth of the Church around the world. 
This year’s theme for World Mission Sunday echoed the words of St. Therese of Lisieux, Patroness of the Missions, who exhorts us to “Do Good on Earth.”  By prayerfully supporting the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and reaching out to the poor and marginalized half a world away through our Church’s missionaries, you do just that.

When our Holy Father, Pope Francis, recently called on us to “give voice to those not able to make their cries of pain and oppression heard” he could have been talking about any number of children served by missionaries.  Vandoosha is one of them. 

When she was very young, 10 year old Vandoosha was sold to a neighbor to work in the family’s home. That neighbor sold her again. “I had to work from 5 AM to midnight ever day,” Vandoosha says. “I was doing all the washing, cooking and cleaning for the whole family and looking after their 2 year old child.”

Today, five years after Vandoosha was rescued, the memories of her time as a domestic worker are still fresh in her mind. Thanks to missionary sisters, she is now healthy and happy and doing very well at school, along with over 100 girls between the ages of 4 and 14 who receive daily care, education and vocational training.

Your prayerful generosity on World Mission Sunday, and every day, literally saves lives in the missions.

For more information about how you can “Do Good on Earth”, go to our website:
-Maureen Crowley Heil