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

The Many Dimensions of Mission

As I write this post on December 3rd the Church in her liturgy is celebrating the feast of Saint Francis Xavier.  Francis and Saint Therese of Lisieux are regarded as the patrons of missionaries and the task of evangelization.  Considered together these two saints represent two very different approaches to spreading the Gospel message.  Nevertheless, both were blessed with a true missionary heart.  Both have something to teach us about ways of sharing the Good News.

Therese was born into humble circumstances; Francis into a noble Spanish family.  Therese never left her Carmelite convent in France.  Even so, she made a profound contribution to the missionary activity of the Church of her day because of her prayerful support.  Francis, in contrast, was called to help Saint Ignatius of Loyola to found a new religious community—the Society of Jesus—and to carry the Gospel message to the far corners of the known world. 

The lives of both saints inspire us to work at integrating these two dimensions of missionary activity, the contemplative and the active, into our own lives.  We are charged by our baptism with the work of sharing the Gospel.  Whether we do that by outreach in our own parish and community, by participating as foreign missionaries, or by prayerful and financial support is an individual decision.  What matters most is our acceptance of Christ’s challenge to spread the Good News in whatever way God asks us to do so.  The prayer for today’s feast sums it up.

Lord God,
by the preaching of St. Francis Xavier
you brought many nations to yourself.
Give his zeal for the faith to all who believe in you,
that your Church may rejoice in continued growth
throughout the world.
May this prayer fill us with the same love
that inspired Francis Xavier to work for the salvation of all.
Help us to live our Christian calling
and to inherit the promise of eternal life.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

To learn more about the missionary activity of the Church, see our website
- Rev. Rodney J. Copp, JCL

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