As we wrap up a very busy and productive month of promoting "Fatima", the Movie and raffling off a pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes in 2021, we were reminded of the importance of coming together as a community in faith.
A person who attended the movie wrote to thank us for the evening's experience and noted that it was, "...just a nice reminder of what a strong faith can accomplish. And it can be taught to us by children!"
As we approach the beginning of the new school year, for many of us, our children and grandchildren will be returning to a "new normal". Whether attending school "in person" full time, homeschooled, instructed on line, or attending a hybrid version of classes, life in the days of the coronavirus continue to show us that while nothing is the same as it used to be, certain comforts remain -- just in a new format.
Our Mission Education materials for elementary school children, through the Missionary Childhood Association, are morphing to help meet the needs of students, no matter how they are learning.
The Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) is the "little sibling" Mission Society of the Propagation of the Faith. Once known as the Holy Childhood Association, MCA funds missionaries who work with children fourteen years old and younger in the missions.
We encourage our members, in parish faith formation programs and Catholic schools to pray and sacrifice for their brothers and sisters in the missions who may not have access to many of the things our children have. Things like clean water, lights at the flip of a switch, well-built and staffed schools, and regular nutritious meals are luxuries out of reach for many children in the missions. For most, the critical thing they lack is the opportunity to become the person God intends them to be.
Missionaries need the help of everyone, including children. MCA was founded in France in 1843 with the idea that children can be protagonists of our Catholic faith; they are not only able, but willing, to carry the message of faith to the world, when given a chance.
The Missionary Childhood Association's monthly materials of a prayer service, a saint and a mission country of the month help students to form a missionary spirit and learn to carry the faith to others. Our new format allows these materials to be shared over a single link, as well as by hard copy, in a classroom or online.
Just like the Shepherd Children of Fatima, our little ones can lead us, too, if we give them the right tools.
To have these materials emailed to you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.