Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States
Reverend Andrew Small, OMI
National Director

70 West 36th Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212-563-8700
Fax: 212-563-8725
Email: pmsusa@propfaith.org

National Office

Ms. Donna Borowicz, Chief Financial Officer
e-mail: dborowicz@propfaith.org

Ms. Monica A. Yehle, Director of Communications & Outreach
e-mail: myehle@propfaith.org

Ms. Marilyn Santos, Director of Mission Education/ Coordinator of Mission Corps

Ms. Patricia M. Macias, Director of Programs & New Media
e-mail: pmacias@propfaith.org

Mr. Paul Batterson
Director of Information Technology
e-mail: pbatterson@propfaith.org


Ms. Monica A. Yehle, Director of Development & Programs
e-mail: myehle@propfaith.org


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News and Press Releases - First-time Tour of Writing Desk of St. Thérèse of Lisieux across U.S. PDF Print E-mail
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First-time Tour of Writing Desk of St. Thérèse of Lisieux across U.S.

NEW YORK - A special possession of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, patroness of the Church’s missions and missionaries, began a multi-city tour of the United States this week, sponsored by the Pontifical Mission Societies.
Crowds gathered on August 28 at St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Church in Las Vegas, the first stop of the tour, to welcome the writing case (écritoire) of the saint, the first time this precious souvenir of the Little Flower has ever been allowed outside the Carmelite convent in France where St. Thérèse lived and died. St. Thérèse used the writing desk almost daily between 1894 until her death from tuberculosis in September 1897.  The case also contains the pen and inkwell she used. Using these instruments, St. Thérèse composed her spiritual master work, Story of a Soul. Additionally, she wrote seven of her eight plays, 47 of her 62 poems, 95 of her 266 letters – including those to the two missionaries with whom she corresponded — and 16 of her 21 prayers. 
St. Thérèse was declared a Doctor of the Church by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1997. “At the heart of her grace-filled life is the teaching of the faith embodied in her writings,” noted Father Andrew Small, OMI, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. “During this Year of Faith, and in collaboration with the Carmel of Lisieux, we are delighted to be part of this unique moment for evangelization in the United States. This holy tour will help us all prepare for the celebration of World Mission Month, beginning October 1, which is the feast day of St. Thérèse.”
During the prayer service at St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Church, those gathered were invited to write their name on a piece of paper and place it on the case. “This simple act is a way for pilgrims to unite their hearts with that of St. Thérèse and to place all their hopes and sorrows in heaven with her,” said Father Andrew.
“Returning the writing case to Lisieux, I will also carry with me the many names of those who have entrusted their cares and hopes to the intercession of St. Thérèse,” he added. Father Andrew made the journey to Lisieux to personally receive the writing desk from the Sisters in France.  “In this Year of Faith, we hope to inspire others by the writings of St. Thérèse, through which she taught about the faith and supported missionaries in the work of evangelization,” he explained. 
The journey to some 20 dioceses – including those in California, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Washington – began on the West Coast, and ends in October, “Mission Month,” on the East Coast; diocesan offices of the Pontifical Mission Societies are hosts in each location.
“The life of St. Thérèse offers a lesson for each of us, baptized into the continuing mission of Jesus,” Father Andrew said.  “She was a missionary in a very real and valid way without ever leaving the Carmel in Lisieux — through her prayers, the offering of her personal sufferings to the Lord, her devotion to the Eucharist.”
Born in Alençon in France on January 2, 1873, Thérèse was baptized just two days later in the parish church of Notre Dame.  She entered the Carmel (convent) at Lisieux at the age of 15, professing final vows as a Carmelite on September 8, 1890, taking the name Thérèse of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face.  She dreamed of being a missionary, but her poor health prevented her from ever leaving the convent in France.  Dying on September 30, 1897, after much suffering, Thérèse was canonized in 1925; two years later, Pope Pius XI declared St. Thérèse patroness of all missionaries and of all the Missions, equal to St. Francis Xavier as patron.  On World Mission Sunday in 1997, now Blessed Pope John Paul II declared St. Thérèse a “Doctor of the Church,” noting that the “insights of faith expressed in her writings are so vast and profound that they deserve a place among the great spiritual masters.”

Given the title "Pontifical" in 1922, the Pontifical Mission Societies have special responsibility in the Universal Church. They are under the direct canonical jurisdiction of the Pope, who, together with the entire body of Bishops, remind the faithful of their Baptismal call to mission, as they gather basic support for more than 1,150 mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and Latin America.  The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. For more information, visit www.OneFamilyInMission.org