Leave a Legacy of Love

There's a saying we like to repeat in the Mission Office: Some people give to the missions by going, others go to the missions by giving. Recently, we found the exception that proves the rule.

Last year, a Friend of the Missions, who spent many years serving God's people overseas went home to his reward. We were grateful that he had given so much to the missions. Imagine our surprise when we were notified that The Society for the Propagation of the Faith had been mentioned in his will as a beneficiary. We were told that, in his words, he did so because, "All my life I have been trying to spread the Faith." He saw us as partners in that work.

Because of his ministry, untold souls were brought to Jesus Christ. With his remembrance, countless more will be added to the rolls.

He left a legacy of love.

Many people think that planned charitable giving is only for the wealthy. We know that's not true because we've seen the difference each gift makes, no matter the size.

By making bequests and other planned gifts to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith of Boston Inc., you help in the vital work of building faith communities for the laity, clergy, and religious in the young mission Church.

Earlier today, I sat across from a Bishop from West Africa. Almost 75 years ago, missionaries had hope that a Catholic community would develop there. A cathedral was built for 500 people. Imagine the hope they held that someday Catholics would fill it for worship!

Fast forward to the present and a new co-cathedral is being built, which in the missions is quite different than that to which we are accustomed. Normally, we don't undertake a large project until most of the funds have been raised or pledged. We certainly don't use the building until it is finished.

The basement of the co-cathedral is done, complete with rooms for classes and meetings. They have two large halls for functions. The first floor -- home to the church's sanctuary -- is also finished. Mass is now celebrated in a church that seats 8,000!

Besides the ornamentation of pews, statues, a tabernacle, and the like, the one thing that was really needed was a roof! In the rainy season, parishioners get wet during Mass. And yet, they come. The mission Church, alive and growing, needs us.

After you take care of your loved ones, please ensure that the missions are remembered in your estate planning. Leave a lasting gift in your name, and in the name of Jesus Christ.

Leave a legacy of love.

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