As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, our Mission Family gives thanks for many things. We know that we are blessed to serve the people of God both here in the Archdiocese of Boston and throughout the mission world, even in these most challenging of times. We are also prayerfully indebted to you, our regular readers and benefactors. Without your sacrifices and prayers for all The Pontifical Mission Societies, our work would not be possible.
This week, we gratefully reflect on the following:
Some of the first donations to The Propagation of the Faith in the early 1800's were sent to one of the largest mission lands of the time -- the United States of America. These funds helped build churches and schools, and train priests, sisters, and lay catechists. This was concrete evidence of 19th century European Catholics' belief that all people deserved a chance to know our faith. The United States continued to receive support from The Propagation of the Faith until 1908. We are now the largest donor in the world to the Society, helping over 1,100 mission territories and dioceses start on a shared journey of faith.
Each week we gather for Mass in parishes across the Archdiocese. Our children receive sacraments and there is clergy present to offer prayers over the graves of our loved ones -- even amid a pandemic. This is a privilege which is not always available to all Catholics and one that The Society of St. Peter the Apostle seeks to correct by educating local clergy in the missions. With your donations, seminaries and houses of religious formation for men and women are built or repaired. Scholarships are given to worthy candidates and up-to-date educational materials are provided.
Children are often referred to as the future of the world. We believe children have a mission now. As members of The Missionary Childhood Association they are learning that their brothers and sisters in Christ need their help. They pray and sacrifice so that the many blessings enjoyed here -- clean water, education, health care, and the knowledge that Jesus loves us -- may become commonplace worldwide.
For our donors, the young and veteran, the clergy and laity, and the spiritual and material gifts bestowed, we are most grateful. Your regular support is critical in helping us to reach out as One Family in Mission.
NB: To become a sustaining member of our Mission Family, join our Cardinal Cushing Club! You'll receive postage-paid envelopes in which to send us your regular support each month.
- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.