The work of the Pontifical Mission Societies
Our vision – Life for all
“Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Jn 13:34
Catholic Mission shares the dream of our Creator God from before time began, seeing all persons as made in the Creator’s image and likeness. All people are gifted with great potential for growth to reach fullness of life and happiness, and are worthy of respect.
Catholic Mission shares the Church’s responsibility for a world where all persons, free from any discrimination and free from all barriers to life, can reach their full potential and happiness. This will allow all to live their lives in full dignity, as the Creator God intends.
Propagation of the Faith – Partnering Local Churches and Communities
Founded by Pauline Marie Jaricot in France, 1822
Born 1799 – died 1852
Pauline originally joined the Parish Foreign Mission Society, however she found it lacking in the area of raising finance. She established a system with the workers of the industrial revolution, although they received poor wages, they were paid regularly. Pauline recruited the factory girls from her brother-in-law’s factory and collected from each every Friday, whatever they could spare. Her brother, Phileas, sent this money to the mission for the rescue of abandoned children in China.
Pauline then found a system that allowed her to expand while retaining its essential unity. It was made up of groups of ten people and a promoter, each member paid a sou a week, the leader would collect it and give it to the person who was in charge.
This was the basis for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
A meeting of the Bishops and Pauline took place where she insisted that monies collected be sent where it was needed, not to just one Society or mission, thus it became, Universal Mission Aid.
The Society was approved by the Pope and became international in 1826, it is now under the control of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples and is a Pontifical Society.
The Society offers spiritual healing and practical assistance to the communities with the greatest needs. It supports the missionary community by building schools, chapels and churches and providing education, pastoral care and emergency relief.
Assistance is also provided for lay catechists, hygiene, health and nutrition programs, medicines, clinics and hospitals. These every-day needs are addressed with sensitivity and care, which allows and encourages the people to maintain their dignity and self-esteem.
Children’s Mission – Caring for Children
Previously known as The Society for Missionary Childhood & Holy Childhood Founded by Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson, in France 1843.
Born 1785 – died 1844.
The Bishop met Pauline Jaricot around 1840 and when touring the U.S.A. he spoke on many issues including the work of the Propagation of the Faith.
Back in Paris, he began to take an increasing interest in the rescue of abandoned babies in China and for advice, returned to Lyons, France, to confer with Pauline. Two days of discussion produced a clear, positive and simple plan. As the Propagation of the Faith had been organised among adults to aid foreign missions, so Charles would endeavour to found an organisation among children for the salvation of children.
On the 19 May 1843, he called his first meeting and set out to establish the new Society throughout France. it called upon its members for two things: A short daily prayer for the missions and a monetary sacrifice.
In 1922, the Pope approved the Society and made it a Pontifical Society.
Monies are raised principally through the Schools to support the work of Children’s Mission.
Children’s Mission provides self help programs for children threatened by chronic shortages of food, health care, religious and general education. These are programs that nurture dignity and self-respect in the communities.
Today’s Mission provides long-term protection against future crises by supporting thousands of children in kindergartens, schools, orphanages, refuges, homes for the disabled, health and nutritional programs in 113 countries.
It is a living witness in making Jesus known to millions of people throughout the globe.
St Peter Apostle – Fostering Local Church Leadership
Founded by Jeanne Bigard in France 1889
Born 1859 – died 1934
Jeanne and her mother, Stephanie, had suffered from personal tragedies, the Father had suicided and her brother was accidentally burnt to death. They both became virtual recluses, living almost as hermits, they turned to good works and became interested in making altar linen and vestments for the missionaries in Japan.
Made aware of their interest, Fr. Villion who was stationed in Japan, approached them in 1888, from Kyoto in Japan and asked them for their assistance in giving aid to build a church. Although very wealthy they were also very careful with their money, ultimately they sold some land and a factory and gave 50,000 francs, which enabled Fr. Villion to build his Church.
In 1889, a French Bishop of Nagasaki, Jules-Alphonse Cousin, suggested to the Bigards that they may life to consider supporting boys in Japan to train for the Priesthood. Thus was born the idea of a general society to promote indigenous clergy throughout the world.
The Bigards donated to the new society the whole of their considerable fortune.
Like the Propagation of the Faith and Children’s Mission, clergy were also encouraged to support the Society, morally and financially.
The Pope in 1890, granted approval and it became a Pontifical Society.
The Society trains young women and men in their own country and culture to serve their people as religious sisters, brothers or priests.
The Societies hold in a special way, a strong devotion to Saints renowned traditionally for their commitment to mission and evangelisation.
Most particularly we commit the catholic Mission to the intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Francis Xavier.
From an Australian point of view, we rely too on the prayers of Blessed Mary Mackillop, a pioneering Australian Missionary, some of whose work was directly supported by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
We look forward and pray for the canonisation of Venerable Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Propagation of the Faith.
Ms Michelle Sullivan
PO Box I
Lismore NSW 2480
Phone: (02) 6622 0407
Mobile: 0402234 456
Find out more here