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Walking with Children in the Missions

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Maureen Crowley
Heil

We are very grateful to all the Catholic Schools and Parish Faith Formation programs that walked with us this school year in our efforts to help all children in the missions know how much God loves them! Although our journey together was cut short, we know that the missions remain alive in the hearts and prayers of all members of The Missionary Childhood Association.

The Missionary Childhood Association (MCA), with a motto of "Children Helping Children" is the official mission agency of the Church for children, funding missionaries who help children age fourteen and younger in 1,111 mission territories worldwide.

We kicked off Boston's Mission School Year back on October 3rd at the Pastoral Center in Braintree with children and adult chaperones from our Catholic schools and parish Faith Formation programs who gathered to be commissioned as Mission Representatives for their schools or parishes for MCA. Our theme for the year was ''Baptized and Sent!'' We focused on the power of our baptismal call to send us out to the world -- at home, at school, and in our neighborhoods -- to be visible signs of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Sarah McAteer, from the Pontifical Mission Societies of Rockville Center, New York, spoke to the attendees about the importance of caring for God's creation, Mother Earth, making the point that when we misuse our planet, it is most often the poor in the missions who suffer.

Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap was the main celebrant and homilist for our day's Liturgy. He spoke about the importance of all of us embracing our mission to be evangelizers.

Doug Campbell, co-founder of Hands Together, Haiti, spoke movingly to all about the challenges of everyday life in the missions. Doug encouraged everyone to live their God-given mission and to see what good they could do every day through their Catholic faith.

As the school year progressed, many mission visits were made to schools and parishes from our office. We shared stories, pictures, and videos that showed our young missionaries the reality of a child's life in various mission countries, asked for prayers, and passed out Mite Boxes (mission banks) in which the students' sacrifices could be stored.

Although they were not in class to return their Mite Boxes, many of our MCA members are answering the call to reach out to those on the margins in the missions during in these challenging times. They are mailing Mite Boxes to us or sending individual checks, identifying their school or parish for proper credit. Our members are the best!

We invite you to send in the proceeds from your child's Mite Box -- or to make your own donation to MCA -- by mailing it to us at 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree, MA 02184 or going online: www.propfaithboston.org.

We can't wait until Fall, when the mission journey continues!

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



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