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, February 21, 2012

Celebrations - with Mission Messages

22 new Cardinals for the Church.

Among them our Prefect for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni (shown to the right with Father Andrew Small, OMI, National Director, on the night before the Consistory).

Also two from the United States: our good friend of the Missions, Archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, former archbishop of Baltimore and now Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Father Andrew journeyed to Rome to be part of the celebrations of the Church's new Cardinals. On that pilgrimage with him are directors of our Pontifical Mission Societies' offices in New York (Sister Pauline Chirchirillo, PBVM) and in San Diego (Father Joseph Miller, SVD), and with them, supporters of the Missions, as well as the Director of Development from the National Office, Mary Di Donato.

In his talk before Pope Benedict XVI and the College of Cardinals the day before the Consistory, then Archbishop Dolan spoke about "the announcement of the Gospel today, between the mission ad gentes and the New Evangelization." "Yes, we gather as missionaries, as evangelizers," he said. He also spoke about the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, former National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith: "The acclaimed American missionary and TV evangelist, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, commented, 'Our Lord's first word to His disciples was 'come!' His last word was 'go!' You can't 'go' unless you've first 'come' to Him." Read the entire text of that talk at the blog site of our friends at Catholic News Service.

And also look through images and reflections on events of that Rome pilgrimage for National Director Father Andrew and members of our mission family on our Facebook page, including "Celebrating the New Cardinals" photo albums, part one and part two. There is also a look at Father Andrew and our pilgrims visiting Mater Ecclesiae College in Castel Gandolfo, as well as their encounter with an archbishop from Africa at the headquarters of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Rome.