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.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Message - From Egypt

Merry Christmas to you all from St. Mary the Virgin Parish in Cairo – yes, Egypt!

Arriving only days before Christmas, I am a guest of our National Director, Father Antonious Fayez, who is also pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church. It was to Egypt that the Holy Family fled, seeking safety from the wrath of Herod. Today, seeking hope and peace, children and families here find both and an abundance of God’s love, through the service of many missionaries and local priests and religious – work and witness supported by your prayers and sacrifices through the Pontifical Mission Societies. I think especially of refugee families from Sudan that I met this afternoon, who, for many years, have found a welcoming home and concrete help from the Catholic community in Cairo and Alexandria.

I wanted to come to Egypt at Christmastime to express our solidarity with the Church here, particularly our Catholic Coptic brothers and sisters who face challenges at many levels. Here in the country of Moses as he liberated the Hebrews from slavery in Old Testament times, I feel close to you, our mission family and partners in this holy work. You are here also. We are bound together in prayer for the poor, the oppressed, the refugee and the outsider. Their story is the story of the Christ-child and the Holy Family – it is our story as we celebrate once again the difference God makes.

Know that you and your intentions have a special place in the Masses celebrated and the prayers offered during this missionary journey. I invite you to make this journey with me, following the coverage on our website, and our Facebook page. If moved, then please take a moment to donate to the work of missionary evangelization by clicking here.

And, as you do so, I ask your own prayers for the Church in Egypt – for Father Ahmed, Sister Samiha – and the Church throughout the Missions. May all come to celebrate joyfully the message of the angel that first Christmas: “Good news of great joy for all people… a Savior is born!”