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, May 22, 2013

The MISSIO App and Pentecost...

Prayerful greetings in this week after Pentecost, continuing our celebration of the birth of the Church's mission in and to the world!

The task of bringing the message of the Gospel "to the ends of the earth" that began on that first Pentecost, when those of many nations heard the Good News of Jesus in their own language, is now our joyful responsibility.

This past Friday, May 17, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, spoke to all of us National Directors who had gathered for our annual meeting to dispense your generosity to the Missions through the Pontifical Mission Societies. The Pope spoke of our being "Pontifical" - at his disposal - "with the specific purpose of acting so that the precious gift of the Gospel might be offered to all." These Societies, he said, were "entirely relevant; even more, they are still necessary today because there are so many peoples who have still not known and met Christ."

"And it is urgent," Pope Francis continued, "to find new forms and new ways that God's grace might touch the heart of each man and each woman and bring them to Him."

Following that message, present to us there in the Clementine Hall in Rome and present "virtually" with the 1,140 people in 27 different countries who had so far downloaded our new MISSIO App, Pope Francis "unlocked" that App with a touch of his finger to the launch button on my iPad that said, "evangelizantur," Latin for "they have been evangelized." In that way, the Pope put the missionary Gospel in the pockets of millions of people, young and old, rich and poor, believer and searcher. (Read full story from Catholic News Service.)

Since that Friday, the number of those installing our MISSIO App has increased many times over, topping 20,000! And the 27 countries have grown to more than 80. After the United States, the most users are in Argentina; in fact, MISSIO is a number one mobile App in that country.

MISSIO gives users access to the Pope’s daily homily, videos from Catholic News Service and, the Vatican’s news agency; there is also news from Rome and around the world, including the Missions, from FIDES, the Pontifical Mission Societies’ news agency, and News is presented with a Catholic perspective – and in eight languages (English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic), most appropriate for its launch near Pentecost.

Ever since his election, Pope Francis has reached far beyond the Vatican, touching people’s lives in simple and meaningful ways. The MISSIO App helps extend his reach. All of us in this "one family in mission" invite you to join with the Holy Father and the Pontifical Mission Societies in the continuing spirit of Pentecost, and through this unique mobile App, to see the world each day through the eyes of faith.

In His mission,
Father Andrew Small, OMI
National Director, Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States

To download the MISSIO App for Apple devices, click here; for Android, click here.