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.

Friday, February 15, 2013

We Love You Holy Father!

Together with you, the family of supporters of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, I offer our prayers and deep affection to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, chief missionary of the Church, as he steps aside from the Chair of Peter into a new life of retirement, of quiet prayer and of continued devotion to the Lord.

When I was introduced to Pope Benedict in 2011, the Pope immediately recognized the tremendous love that American Catholics have for him and for the Church: "Great works," he said to me, smiling, acknowledging the generosity of Catholics here at home for the Church throughout the world.

The Pope's decision to retire is a characteristic act of love for the whole Church, above all else. He has offered us an example of true humility. The consummate teacher, he continues to show us that only in union with Christ are all things possible.

Like St. Paul, Pope Benedict XVI has poured out his life in service of God, the Church and the poor. He has not yet run his race to the very end. We pray for him as he enters this next stage of his life. And as we do, we commit ourselves to the ongoing Year of Faith, asking that it may bring renewed energy to the mission of the Church. In this period of transition, we pray for the Church, confident that the Lord remains close to us, now in a special way. God Bless the Pope!

Father Andrew Small, OMI
National Director