Summer Mission Experience 2015
The principal aim of the Pontifical Mission Societies of the Diocese of Scranton is to promote a mission spirituality and global vision in the hearts and minds of the faithful. We hope to accomplish this objective through an increase of education, prayer, material and financial support and local missionary involvement among the religious and laity in spreading the good news of Jesus “To the ends of the earth”.
Diocese of Scranton
330 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, Pa 18503
Deacon Edward T. Kelly
Mission Education Coordinator
Office Telephone – (570) 207-2259
Office Fax – (570) 207-2268
The Pontifical Mission Societies National Office
The Diocesan Mission Office is home to the stranger – the first door missionaries enter. Missionaries from Asia, Africa, Oceania, South and Central America come here expecting to be welcomed. We reflect the Diocese of Scranton in its hospitality and generosity. As these cries from the whole world come to us, we try to make an equitable response, welcoming and including men, women and lay people when preparing for missionaries to go out to our parishes.
Mission Experiences for High School Juniors
These journeys of faith and service have connected the office with missionaries serving in Mexico, Jamaica, Ecuador, Guyana, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Thailand, Tanzania, East Africa – as well as at many mission sites in the U.S. The students are selected after interviews in January and a weekend retreat of discernment in March.
The Great Works
(A video produced by the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States)
The involvement of the laity in mission outreach is a growing ministry in our Diocese. It includes high school students, college students and adults in the work force. Financial assistance is provided when needed for college students and adults who have heard and answered the call to volunteer for short or long-term service in various missions around the world.
Group Mission Trips:
Since 1993, our office has been sponsoring mission experiences for seminarians and high school students entering their Senior year. The students raise their own money for these trips from part-time work, parents, relatives, and by reaching out for help from their parishes and schools when possible.
Announcements are sent to DRE’s, Pastors and Principals at Catholic High Schools in December. The mission experience has been expanded to include separate one-week trips for adults who have expressed a desire to serve in this capacity.
Goals: It is our hope that more diocesan priests, religious and laity will respond to our call to be a spiritual director or chaperone for one of the mission experiences. The benefits of such an experience are beyond description.
In our missionary outreach, we do not look for schools and parishes to come to us…..we go to them to spread the message.
The children and adults in our schools and parishes respond with great generosity of spirit and sacrifices when they become aware of the needs of their brothers and sisters in mission lands.
The Diocesan Director and Mission Education Coordinator visit all four high schools once each year for either a Mission Mass or mission presentation. High school students connect with the Propagation of the Faith mission programs. Elementary students from Kindergarten through 8th grade are involved with Missionary Childhood Association programs. The elementary schools are periodically visited each year by the Education Coordinator and the Director.
Parish religious Education Programs are also visited periodically by the Mission Education Coordinator to assist DRE’s and catechists in mission education and awareness for public school children and youth.
Evenings of Reflection:
Our office is available to conduct three-hour regional Evenings of Reflection for parish DRE’s, catechists, and leaders of parish ministries. The evenings would consist of presentations on how mission relates to all aspects of religious education and parish life, and celebration of the Eucharist. If you would like to make arrangements for an evening in your parish, send us an e-mail or call our office at 207-2259.
Mission Awareness Day:
November 1st is All Saints Day and also the day that could be set aside for mission education and commissioning of mission representatives and moderators in all Diocesan Catholic Schools and Parish Religious Education programs. St. Therese is the patron saint of the Missions.
Contact the Missions Office for resources.
Go into all the world and tell the Good News
Society for the Propagation of Faith: Founded in 1822 by Pauline Jaricot, a 19 year old woman, in Lyons, France. Pauline gathered together other young women, all of whom worked in the factories of France. They would pray for the missions and missionaries. Their motto became “a sou a week”, or the equivalent of a penny. These funds were to be sent to the missionaries for their needs and support. Their first appreciable collection came to some $4,000 which was divided three ways, a third each to China, Louisiana and Kentucky. Since 1928 it has been set up progressively in mission countries, too, and at present exists in 85 countries.
Pontifical status was granted to the Society on May 3, 1922 and its central administration was transferred to Rome. It thus became the Church’s official organization for mission aid. The Propagation of the Faith raises funds to help the 1,100 dioceses throughout the world which are not able to be self-supporting. It also challenges young people to go to these dioceses as lay missionaries, sisters, priests and brothers. This society is supported by high school and college students, and adults from all walks of life.
Missionary Childhood Association: Founded in 1843 by Bishop Charles De Forbin-Jansen of Nancy, France. It is an organization of children helping children. This quickly spread throughout France to other European countries and to America. Recently it has been set up also in several mission countries and is today organized in over 70 countries. It was given Pontifical status on May 3, 1922. This society aims to awaken in children an awareness of the needs of other children throughout the world. Children are brought to an appreciation of their gift of faith, and are encouraged to pray and offer financial help for children in the developing world.
Society of Saint Peter Apostle: Founded by Stephanie Bigard and her daughter Jeanne, in France. It is based on awareness of the world-wide need of priests and religious, and the particular need of the poorer dioceses to be able to support their own people in pursuing these vocations. Every year, in many parts of Asia and Africa , bishops are forced to deny too many young men admission to seminaries because they cannot afford to train and support them. Although originally founded for the support of priests and seminarians, this society was later expanded to include religious Brothers and Sisters and lay catechists in the mission areas. It enables people to be trained for and supported in assuming positions within the Church and often within the wider community of their own countries. This society was also given Pontifical status.
The Pontifical Missionary Union: Founded in Italy in 1916 by Father Paolo Manna, receiving papal approval from its very beginning and is now organized in more than 50 countries. Originally founded as an association of priests, its scope was enlarged on July 14, 1949 to include religious men and women and all those engaged in the pastoral ministry of the Church. Missionary formation and responsibility are fundamental so that every Christian community and every member of it may feel he or she is really participating in the Church’s universal mission and is involved there in accordance with his/her vocation.
Each year monies are collected from individual donations people make; and through the efforts of children and young people in grade and high schools. This money is kept here in the United States. Each year requests for funds are sent to Rome, from the Bishops around the world, for the needs of their particular areas. These requests are directed to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, whose function it is to oversee the mission areas of the world and their needs.
The requests are then compiled and copies are sent to the National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies all around the world, who are asked to study them. In May of each year about 90 of these directors meet in Rome and after careful discussion, decide which requests can be fulfilled. The decisions depend on the monies available and the relative necessities in each area of the world. The national directors from the different countries, proportion the funds from their respective countries.
All monies available are distributed. There is no big amount left in the banks for a rainy day! The national directors meet again in November to disburse any funds that may have accumulated since May, honoring some of the requests that could not be fulfilled at that time.
As you can see this is a very equitable manner of distributing what is known as the General Fund. Having representatives from the different countries present at this meeting allows these representatives to speak about their needs right there, and come to decisions in a way that a select group without knowledge of the particular situations could never otherwise do.
The Catholics of our country contribute substantially to the General Fund of the Propagation of the Faith and to the Society for St. Peter the Apostle.
Monies are used:
For basic bread and shelter and support of those who carry on the work of the Church in the mission areas of the world, usually a grant of $30,000 – $50,000 per local Church
For daily pastoral care of Catholics and for outreach programs to others
For chapels, churches and parish centers
For local communities of Sisters and Brothers who serve as teachers, nurses, social workers, leaders of faith communities
For the social and lay apostolate: for the spiritual development of lay leaders and support of self-help projects
For the communications apostolate through which people hear the Gospel message by radio, television, print and film
For transportation and relief
For the work of Bishops’ Conferences
For the education of mission seminarians
For the missionary activity of the Eastern Rite churches
For pastoral work of the Church in Latin America
There are only two collections taken up in a parish for the Pontifical Mission Office:
1. World Mission Sunday (always the next to the last Sunday in October)
2. Missionary Cooperation Speaker or visit by the Diocesan Director or representative of the Pontifical Mission Office to speak about membership in the Society of the Propagation of the Faith
I want to be Your Missionary
to all the world.
I want to call the poor and the children
and the burdened to rest in your Love.
Help me to be a missionary today,
right where I am.
Bless me with the gift of simplicity
so that what I have in abundance
I will be happy to share.
Bless me with the gift of generosity so that
I may think first of others who need
to hear Your Good News.
Bless me with the gift of such deep faith
that it is no longer I who live,
but Christ in me.
Then use me to extend Your Love
around the world so that no
corner of the earth may be without Your Good News
I ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Amen.