One Family in Mission: An Attitude of Gratitude

Throughout the year, our Mission Family gives thanks for many things. We are grateful to serve the people of God both here in the Archdiocese of Boston and throughout the mission world. Mostly, we are prayerfully indebted to you, our donors. Without the sacrifices and prayers made by the members of the Pontifical Mission Societies, our ministry would not be possible.

This week, we reflect on the following blessings:

Some of the first donations to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith were sent to one of the greatest mission lands of the time -- the United States of America. Sent to help build churches and schools and train priests, these monies were concrete evidence of the belief of 19th century European Catholics that we deserved a chance to know the Catholic faith. We continued to receive support from the Propagation of the Faith in the United States until 1908. We are now the largest donors in the world to that Society, helping over 1,110 mission territories journey on the same road to faith that was afforded to us.

Each week, we gather for Mass in our home parishes in the Archdiocese; our children receive their sacraments regularly and there is clergy present to offer prayers over the graves of our loved ones. If the pandemic taught us anything, it is the true value of our shared faith communities!

Our access to regular Mass and sacraments is a privilege still not shared by all Catholics and one that the Society of St. Peter the Apostle seeks to correct by helping to raise up a local clergy in the missions. Thanks to your gifts, seminaries and houses of religious formation for men and women are built. Scholarships are given to worthy candidates.

Children are often referred to as the future of world. We believe that they have a faith job -- a mission -- now. As members of the Missionary Childhood Association, children are learning that their brothers and sisters in Christ need their prayers and sacrifices in order to share the blessings common here. They include clean water, education, and most importantly, the knowledge that Jesus loves them.

Young and old, clergy and laity, spiritual and material support: for all these things, we are grateful. They make us One Family in Mission.

- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.