The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These Societies promote a prayerful missionary spirit among baptized Catholics and to gather a fund of support for the evangelizing and pastoral programs of more than 1,150 local churches of the Developing World.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Recognizing Mission...

During the Catholic Media Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, last week, we had the chance to honor Catholic journalists for their reporting on the missionary work of the Church. Catholic diocesan newspapers in Arlington, Fairbanks, Fall River, Indianapolis, Kansas City (Kansas), Los Angeles, Miami, and Paterson, and diocesan directors from Rockville Centre, San Diego and Scranton, as well as Columban Mission magazine received Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Award winners this year. These annual awards, presented by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, recognize excellence in coverage of world mission news. They are named for the late Archbishop O’Meara, who served as National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1966 to 1979. Presenting the awards with National Director Father Andrew Small, OMI, were Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican, as well as the Secretary of that Council, Monsignor Paul Tighe. (Click here for a complete list of award winners.)

"We value our partnership with Catholic publications to tell the mission story," said Father Andrew. "And that story is centered on the great works happening in the midst of our world of great need. Helping the Catholics here at home to learn of the hope offered to the poor and vulnerable by local priests, religious and lay faithful makes the media very much and very needed missionaries.

"These finely crafted journalistic works provide readers of the Catholic press with an eyewitness account of the blessing of the Church's presence among the poor of the Missions, a profile of a missionary hero, and 'good news' stories about young people coming to see their responsibility as missionaries, as well as glimpses into the lives of missionaries and the lesson that we’re all part of that life-giving service half a world away," he added.

Those receiving first-place honors in the newspaper and magazine categories this year will participate in a mission visit, organized by the Pontifical Mission Societies. Next year, for the 20th anniversary of this competition, a new category will be added - recognizing excellence in online promotion of the Church's mission. Eligible will be articles from online only publications, as well as blogs.

And the Pontifical Mission Societies received honors as well during that meeting of Catholic communicators. Our Mission Lessons - "moments from the Missions that teach and inspire" - featuring National Director Father Andrew Small, OMI, won a Gabriel Award from the Catholic Academy of Communication Arts Professionals.

Also our MISSION magazine won two Catholic Press Association awards:

(1) Best Original Poetry, First Place, "Lord, Let Us See Your Visit” by Mary Regis McLoughlin (editor emeritus, MISSION) - "This is the kind of work that calls for us to experience it more than once, each time asking what it's calling us to do."

(2) Best Feature Article, Third Place, "Celebrating, Sharing Faith: A look at Sundays in Kenya" by Monica Ann Yehle (editor-in-chief, MISSION) - "Great juxtaposing in opening as an example of style matching message in this piece. Very engaging."