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Propagation of the Faith

Sowing the Seeds of Faith

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Maureen Crowley
Heil

Our Mission Family is blessed by the multitudes of "farmers" around the world -- men and women called by God to plant the seeds of our faith wherever He sends them. We call them missionaries; the crop they sow and tend is nothing less than the promise of eternal life.

Every day, by word and action, missionaries bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to our brothers and sisters around the world. They depend on the prayers and support of every Catholic so that our sacramental Church can grow.

In China, a family brings their baby to be baptized; through gifts to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Church is there -- hidden, but waiting -- to welcome this precious child. With water and oil, the seeds are sown. His family and Church will nourish a budding faith.

Children in the shanty towns of Peru process into their "capilla" -- parish chapel -- in white robes to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. The robes are not only a sign of their purity before God, but also an equalizer. Many come from families too poor to afford a traditional First Communion outfit. With help from The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, missionaries teach them about Jesus, truly present in the sacrament, loving them equally. Their faith begins to bloom.

Before Mass in a rural outstation in Zambia, a mission priest hears confessions in the corner. The graces poured out onto the fertile souls of parishioners will yield a crop of faith beyond measure in the months to come. The church was built by local labor and by you -- donors to The Society, who are partners in this venture of faith.

Youth in Sri Lanka hold lit candles, inviting the Holy Spirit into their hearts to help them grow in His gifts. They are a sign to others that the Catholic faith grows strong wherever there are missionaries.

Couples are joined in marriage in Uganda. Their faith, brought to them by missionaries, will help them raise their family. They will nourish each other in faith until they near the end of their work in God's landscape. Then, perhaps because of the generous faithfulness of donors like you, they will be visited by a priest who will anoint them for their final season.

This Lent, please join us in sowing the seeds of faith -- through the sacraments -- by making a gift to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

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



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