• 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.” 

“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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PMS-MissionMag-ReadMoreIt began with a phone message.

“Father Bill phoned to say ‘Welcome’ and to call him when you can.” The receptionist where I was working at the time had left the slip of paper with that message on my desk. The note confirmed my new job — as communications director for the Pontifical Mission Societies, a position I still hold today, 27 years later.

“Father Bill” was, in fact, Bishop William McCormack, the National Director who hired me. Thinking back over these nearly three decades, he continued as he began in my life until the day he died this past November – the “father” figure.

“Teach your children well” the song goes, and Bishop McCormack offered me lessons on and off the job. I can probably still quote most of the Vatican document on the Missions, Ad Gentes. There was advice, such as his practice of “taking a walk” in times of frustration or difficulties. During one such moment for me, I remember telling him that not even a walk to Cleveland and back would have made a difference. And there was his presence to family and friends, as well as the family at the national office and in the dioceses, when someone was ill or had died. He was there to comfort and pray – as he did for me when my mother died in 2002, celebrating her funeral Mass.

Bishop McCormack opened my heart to the joy of the mission of the Church and the Missions, and the call to every heart to be part of this great work. As he wrote once about MISSION magazine: “Always MISSION is a reminder of the Lord’s call to each one of us to be actively, wholeheartedly engaged in His own mission to the world.”

Mary McLoughlin, editor emeritus of this magazine and my wonderful friend, and I spent many days with him during his retirement – lunches and laughter. And we spent time with him in the final days of his life’s journey as well. The last time I visited him, two days before he died, I whispered a prayer of thanks before I left – thanks for the lessons he taught me on the job and off, for his presence in my life and the lives of my family, and, above all, for his wholehearted love for the Missions which he transmitted to me from the first welcome.

Rest well, “Father Bill,” and my thanks each day for the invitation to this missionary journey.

–Monica Ann Yehle

MISSION Spring 2014

MISSION Spring/Summer 2013

MISSION Summer 2012

MISSION Spring 2012

 

 

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