• The Society for the Propagation of the Faith
  • The Society for the Propagation of the Faith
  • The Society for the Propagation of the Faith
  • The Society for the Propagation of the Faith
  • The Society for the Propagation of the Faith
  • The Society for the Propagation of the Faith
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MISSION & Archbishop Sheen

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen published the first issue of MISSION magazine in the spring of 1951.  As its founding editor, then Monsignor Sheen wrote:  “The purpose of MISSION is to ‘comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable’:  to comfort the afflicted by bringing the impoverished of body and soul, bread and the Eucharist; to afflict the comfortable by reminding them that they need the poor more than the poor need them.” 

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“To wed the afflicted and the comfortable is our humble mission, our dedicated task, our abiding love,” he concluded in that first editorial.

Today, more than 60 years after that editorial was written, this publication continues to introduce readers to the mission story, making the vital connection between those who hear the Good News of Jesus – and those who support the work and witness of the missionaries who proclaim the reason for our hope, Jesus Christ.

 

 

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A SOWER WENT OUT TO SOW…


“All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you…. God is change.”

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This MISSION looks at some of the many missionaries – change-makers – whom you help through your prayers and support: a priest and Sisters who are collaborating with the ultimate change-maker, for the good of our neighbor half a world away.

Sister Leah and the Little sisters of St. Francis of Assisi are trying to change life for the poor in villages in Kenya who are without life’s basic needs, like food, water – and hope. And Father José Maria Di Paola, called “Padre Pepe,” is working to change circumstances for those plagued by violence and drugs in villages in Argentina. Just this January, I visited Padre Pepe, a “spiritual son” of Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The outreach center at the parish, Virgen de los Milagros de Caacupé, has an image of the Pope washing the feet of a village woman, and quotes Jesus’ Gospel message from St. John (13:15), about the Lord’s modeling behavior for us – modeling love in action.

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Padre Pepe in Argentina, with Father Andrew Small, OMI, in front of mural of then Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis)

That’s what defines the life of a missionary. Faced with a need, and motivated by God’s love, each makes a plan, does some calculating. Like a good sower, Sister Leah does her research – weather patterns, irrigation methods, good soil techniques, all to increase the yields that will help the Sisters and the communities they serve. But in the end Sister Leah has to stick her hand in the bag of seed, seize that opportunity granted to each of us by Someone else, to make a difference for all.

And you‘re there too, with Sister Leah, with Padre Pepe, with each and every “sowing,” as you support priests, Sisters and Brothers, and lay pastoral workers who are bringing education to 16 million children just in Africa, health care to families in Asia at 1,140 hospitals and 3,560 clinics, and the grace of the Sacraments through some 63,000 future priests in formation in Asia and Africa. You answer the call to collaborate with God through the sowers serving the poorest communities around the world and as a sower yourself, in prayer and sacrifice.

Changing the lives of others, and changing our own lives, in partnership with God Who gives the increase always. It’s the parable we write every day, united as “one family in mission,” a parable to teach the world the truth of the great goodness and love of God.

REVEREND ANDREW SMALL, OMI_ National Director

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