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.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christ, Still In Search Of Shelter

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting in our offices with Bishop Chibly Langlois, the Bishop of the diocese of Les Cayes in Haiti and the President of the Haitian Episcopal Conference.  We spoke at length about the continuing challenges of disaster relief in his country and the important role played by the Church in preserving the work of ongoing evangelization in the midst of utter chaos.  Even in these difficult circumstances the Church endeavors to keep alive a spirit of hope.

With our conversation fresh in my mind, I was struck by the Christmas message of the Bishops of Haiti.  They address the apparent hopelessness of the situation while trying at the same time to maintain perspective and a clear identity of their people with the celebration of the birth of Christ. 

The socio-political drama of many countries, including our own, is similar in many respects to that of Jesus’ country. The tragic destiny of our people is marked by great situations of suffering and conflict that have a heavy impact on the lives of all Haitians and the entire nation, making our life as a people increasingly difficult.  The Child was the victim of threats and exclusion. Mary and Joseph fled with him to Egypt. Like him, many Haitian families continue to flee facing the sea, risking their lives by crossing the border, suffering humiliation, rejection, exclusion and the denial of their fundamental rights. In their travel abroad in search of a better life they find abuse, degradation, xenophobia and even death.

Finally, while still acknowledging the discouragement their people face every day, the bishops reiterate the sentiments expressed by Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.  In the midst of these struggles, the joy of the Gospel fills the heart and life of those who encounter Jesus.  As you and I live out these late Advent days and prepare to celebrate Christmas, may we remember the joy of our encounter with Christ and be mindful of those who, like Christ, still search for shelter.

For more information about the Church’s missionary activity please visit our website
-Rev. Rodney J. Copp, JCL

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