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.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Making Journeys

As we begin Lent - a journey of prayer and sacrifice toward Easter - I reflect on my most recent mission journey. Earlier this month, I traveled to Myanmar (Burma), visiting some of this country’s historical and cultural sites.

Most importantly, I spent time with a number of Sisters and seminarians there, witnessing their loving service. There are a number of vocations to the priesthood and Religious life.

Although the number of Catholics is small, the Church in Myanmar distinguishes itself in its outreach and service to the poor. Many Sisters are involved in hospital ministry and home visitation. I was inspired by one stop at a home for persons with a wide range of disabilities, physical and mental. I was so touched by the loving care offered by Sisters to each of the residents of that home, from the very young to the elderly.

During this Lenten journey, I will pray especially for those who suffer and those who serve throughout the Missions. I know I can count on your prayers as well. May these weeks be a time of special blessings as we prepare to celebrate the hope and joy of Easter!