Mission Magazine Autumn 2023

An issue dedicated entirely to World Mission Sunday, this edition of Mission Magazine includes an invitation from Cardinal Christophe Pierre to take pat on this important day of awareness and giving, a thank you from the national director from Syria for the generous help following the devastating January earthquake, and an exclusive interview with Archeparch Borys Gudziak about the war in Ukraine.

An issue dedicated entirely to World Mission Sunday, this edition of Mission Magazine includes an invitation from Cardinal Christophe Pierre to take pat on this important day of awareness and giving, a thank you from the national director from Syria for the generous help following the devastating January earthquake, and an exclusive interview with Archeparch Borys Gudziak about the war in Ukraine.


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AUTUMN <strong>2023</strong><br />

BE THE<br />


This is Pauline Jaricot, a French laywoman who in 1822 founded the Society for the Propagation<br />

of the Faith by asking her friends to pray daily for missionaries and make a small weekly donation<br />

for the Church in faraway lands. Two-thirds of gifts collected during that first year were sent to<br />

the dioceses of Louisiana, which then extended from the Florida Keys to Canada. Many parishes<br />

in the United States today owe their existence to this generous support. Her legacy carries on,<br />

particularly on the second to last weekend of October, with the World <strong>Mission</strong> Sunday collection<br />

held in every parish throughout the world.<br />

follow us at @TPMS_USA

2<br />

A letter from Monsignor Harrington,<br />

our National Director<br />

4<br />

Archbishop Pierre: How the Societies Aid the<br />

Pope’s Man in <strong>Mission</strong> Lands<br />

6<br />

Propagation of the Faith:<br />

From Dreams of Stardom to Divine Calling<br />

9<br />

missio: In 45 seconds<br />

12<br />

Propagation of the Faith:<br />

The Light of the Gospel Shines Brightly in the<br />

Darkest Corners of Cameroon<br />

16<br />

Society of St. Peter: Ukraine:<br />

The Resilience of David Against Goliath<br />

20<br />

MCA: WYD<br />

22<br />

The <strong>Mission</strong>ary Union of Priests and Religious:<br />

Why Would Anyone Come Back Here?<br />

26<br />

From the Dioceses:<br />

Some give by going – others go by giving<br />

30<br />

Editor’s note<br />

The Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies USA<br />







On the cover<br />

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feedback and your “letters to<br />

the editor,” ever grateful for<br />

your prayers and help. If you<br />

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Visit us at our home on the web:<br />


A letter from our<br />

National Director<br />

For over 25 years, Father Thomas<br />

Lyon served as a curate (Parochial Vicar)<br />

at Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish in the<br />

Flatlands section of Brooklyn. He was<br />

beloved. When we met, I was newly<br />

ordained, and he was in the twilight of<br />

his years, having suffered a stroke that<br />

badly impaired his speech and cognitive<br />

functionality. He also looked very<br />

disheveled. Nevertheless, the number of<br />

people who requested him to celebrate<br />

funerals and even weddings was<br />

incredible. Frankly, it did a little damage<br />

to my ego. One day, I asked a bride why<br />

Monsignor Kieran E. Harrington during a visit to<br />

Ukraine in Easter 2022.<br />

she requested Father Lyons. She responded, “When my grandmother was at<br />

home and couldn’t come to church, he faithfully brought communion, and<br />

when my Dad was in the hospital, he came regularly to visit.”<br />

To this young bride and so many like her, it didn’t matter that they couldn’t<br />

understand Father Lyon’s homily or make out what he was saying at Mass. His<br />

life was the sermon.<br />

Over the summer months, priests from all over the world visit parishes in<br />

the United States as part of the <strong>Mission</strong>ary Cooperative plan. Sometimes, these<br />

priests speak with a pronounced accent, and it can be a little exasperating to go<br />

to Mass and not understand the homily. Yet, I would propose that their lives<br />

are really the homily and the Mass.<br />

The Holy Eucharist is a sacrifice, and the one who offers it is Christ through<br />

the hands of the priest. Jesus is the sacrifice and the one offering the sacrifice.<br />

We priests, despite our own unworthiness, act in the person of Christ, the head<br />

of the Church. As such, our lives ought to be configured to His own. We priests<br />

should live sacrificial lives; we should live a life for others.

In the mission countries, I have no doubt that our priests and religious do<br />

live sacrificial lives. These men and women are by no means perfect, just as we<br />

who serve here are not perfect. Yet their lives take on a special characteristic<br />

due to the persecution, discrimination, and poverty that they endure. Many<br />

have had the opportunity to travel abroad and serve in the United States and<br />

Europe. They are keenly aware of the vast difference in the quality of life.<br />

Most visiting missionaries could easily stay in more hospitable countries.<br />

After all, we in the West are desperate for priests and religious to staff our<br />

parishes and ministries. Almost all who come to the USA support the works<br />

of their diocese or communities back home. And most seek to return and serve<br />

their own people who do not have the opportunity to leave challenging and<br />

sometimes desperate situations.<br />

“Ite, Missa Est” are the concluding words of the Holy Eucharist and from<br />

which we derive its more popular name, “The Mass.” In this year as we go<br />

through a period of Eucharistic Revival ahead of the X National Eucharistic<br />

Congress, I think of those missionaries who do not simply preach the Gospel<br />

but, by their lives, demonstrate how we are called to live the reality of being<br />

“Christ” sent forth into the world.<br />

Thank you for your time and generosity, and may we remain united in His<br />

mission.<br />

Monsignor Kieran Harrington

A letter from Cardinal-designate<br />

Christophe Pierre<br />

Dear friends of The Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies,<br />

It is a pleasure to address these few words to you as the envoy of Pope Francis<br />

to the United States. Part of my responsibility is to foster unity and promote<br />

the mission of the Church in this great nation. Today, I seek your support and<br />

generosity in fulfilling that call.<br />

Throughout my years of service to the Hoy See, in various parts of the world,<br />

I have witnessed the Church’s transformative work in the lives of individuals,<br />

families, and entire communities. The local churches in Mozambique,<br />

Zimbabwe and Cuba, where I was posted in my early years of service, are<br />

sustained to a significant extent by the World <strong>Mission</strong> Sunday collection. When<br />

I was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti in 1995, months after the devastation<br />

caused by Hurricane Gordon, I witnessed how the Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies<br />

came to the assistance of the local dioceses.<br />

In so many regions in our world, where the Church is still rather young or<br />

lacking in economic resources, and unable to sustain unaided its vital ministries,<br />

the Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong>ary Societies step in to provide much-needed assistance.<br />

On the second to last Sunday of October, in every single parish, the World<br />

<strong>Mission</strong> Sunday Collection is held. The offerings of the faithful on that day<br />

stand as a testament to the universal nature of our Church and constitute a<br />

concrete act of solidarity with our sister Churches in need.<br />

In particular, the generous contributions of the faithful in the United States<br />

make it possible for the Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies to provide annual subsidies<br />

to missionary dioceses, and to directly support mission seminaries and religious<br />

formation houses, the education of children in mission schools, the building of<br />

chapels and churches, as well as sustaining homes for orphaned children, the<br />

elderly and the sick.<br />

This support makes possible the proclamation of the Gospel, the celebration<br />

of the Sacraments and service to the poor in mission dioceses.

Archbishop Christophe Pierre with Pope Francis, 2016.<br />

(photo: Vatican Media.)<br />

For the first decades of its<br />

life, the fledgling Church in the<br />

United States received essential<br />

support from the Society for<br />

the Propagation of the Faithsome<br />

seven million dollars until<br />

1908, the equivalent of some<br />

$250 million today. Catholics<br />

of this country have returned<br />

that generosity in abundance.<br />

And the missionaries whose stories you will read in these pages, need that<br />

continued generosity.<br />

I invite you, my dear brothers and sisters, to embrace the spirit of solidarity<br />

and missionary discipleship that beats at the heart of our Church. Let us<br />

respond to Pope Francis’ call to be a Church that goes forth, reaching out to the<br />

peripheries, both near and far.<br />

Together, we can make a difference. Your contributions, no matter the<br />

amount, will have a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals<br />

and communities. Through your generosity, you become an instrument of<br />

God’s love, sharing in the mission of the Church and embodying the spirit of<br />

compassion and mercy to which Pope Francis continually calls us.<br />

Knowing personally just how much the <strong>Mission</strong>ary Church depends on the<br />

generous response of Catholics to the World <strong>Mission</strong> Sunday appeal, I would<br />

ask you to do everything you can to promote its celebration in every parish in<br />

the United States.<br />

Fraternally yours,<br />

Archbishop Christophe Pierre*<br />

Apostolic Nuncio<br />

*Pope Francis has announced that, on September 30, <strong>2023</strong>, he will make Archbishop Pierre a cardinal,<br />

during a consistory to be held in Rome. We rejoice with and pray for the Nuncio, an ex-officio member of<br />

the Board of Directors of the Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies in the United States.

Propagation of the Faith:<br />

From Dreams of<br />

Stardom to<br />

Divine Calling<br />

Pakistan<br />

By Inés San Martín<br />

Father Faryadd Anser, who hails from<br />

Pakistan, acknowledged that when he<br />

turned 17, he dreamed of becoming a<br />

famous singer and leading the life of a<br />

wealthy star. But as he was reading the<br />

Bible in the small local Church, his voice<br />

was replaced by one much stronger.<br />

TPMS destines over $650,000 a year<br />

to Pakistan<br />

Population: 231 million<br />

Christian population: 2.6 million<br />

40 percent of the population lives<br />

with less than $4 a day<br />

“I didn’t grow up seeing priests often, so I didn’t know what pastoral life<br />

was until later in life,” he told MISSION <strong>Magazine</strong>. “During my childhood I<br />

loved singing, I wanted to learn music and become a singer. But I also loved<br />

being in Church, I was always either at school, in Church, or helping my mom<br />

in the fields. Other children my age would join me, and we would read the<br />

Bible together, and we would put our own music to the psalms.”<br />

But one day, while reading the Gospel of Luke, he came across this passage:<br />

“For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits<br />


“And something happened to me that day,” Father Faryadd said. “I don’t<br />

know from where, but I had the thought of becoming a priest, as if it was<br />

revealed to me. Here I was, thinking about making a lot of money as a singer,<br />

and I realized that that was not what God was calling me for. Nobody ever<br />

suggested I became a priest, no priest ever advised me to do it. So it truly feels<br />

like from my personal prayer life it was revealed to me that I was called to the<br />

priesthood.”<br />

Daily prayer and reflection are something he grew up with, even though<br />

his family was one of 12 Catholic families in a village with some 500 Muslim<br />

families. His small town within the Punjab region in Pakistan was one of 200<br />

that a missionary priest had been tasked with ministering to.<br />

“We didn’t have Sunday Mass,” he said. “We had Mass on the day the priest<br />

came, and it was an incredible celebration.”<br />

Every other day, however, he still found himself and the other Catholic<br />

children his age going to Church, studying together, and learning their faith.<br />

“But my love for Christ began long before I could actually comprehend that<br />

I was praying: one of the happiest memories of my childhood was spending<br />

an hour lying on my mom’s bosom, as she prayed in our home before going<br />

to work in the fields at four in the morning,” he said. “I continued doing this<br />

through my infancy, and then I would join her in prayer. Even if it was too early<br />

in the day to stay awake!”<br />

Father Faryadd is currently in Rome for the second time in his life: he was<br />

first in the Eternal City in early 2010, earning his degree in Church history.<br />

Today, he is back in school, getting his doctorate at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian<br />

University, with the support of a grant from the Society for the Propagation of<br />

the Faith, one of the four Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies and the one for which the<br />

World <strong>Mission</strong> Sunday collection is taken up.<br />

Entering the seminary, Father Faryadd embarked on a transformative<br />

journey of growth and learning. While the experience was mostly positive,<br />

he candidly acknowledged encountering both joys and challenges along the<br />

way, particularly during the minor seminary. Yet the guidance of dedicated<br />

formators, including a Belgian Capuchin who taught Biblical history,<br />

profoundly impacted his spiritual development. The lessons he learned from<br />

this missionary proved invaluable as he continued his studies in Rome to<br />

become a formator of future priests.<br />


8<br />

When asked about life for Christians in Pakistan, Father Faryadd’s tone<br />

turned somber. He highlighted the difficulties Christians face, exacerbated by<br />

the rise of radical Islam and the persistent indoctrination that portrays those<br />

of different faiths as inferior. Discrimination, both subtle and overt, permeates<br />

their daily lives. Limited employment opportunities exist for Christians,<br />

typically relegated to menial positions considered beneath Muslims. Moreover,<br />

the existence of blasphemy laws hangs as a constant threat, making it risky for<br />

Christians to express their faith openly. Mere accusations, without evidence or<br />

due process, can lead to violence and loss of life.<br />

“Generally, life in Pakistan is not easy, but it is even worse for a Christian,”<br />

he said. “It is not a very pleasant life... we have to be constantly careful, we do<br />

not speak about our religion in public, even amongst our friends. We do not<br />

feel free to discuss our faith because even if these incidents surrounding the<br />

blasphemy laws don’t happen very often, they happen often enough that we<br />

have to be afraid.”<br />

Despite these challenges, Father Faryadd emphasized the importance of<br />

interfaith harmony and understanding, calling for compassion and prayer.<br />

In closing, Father Faryadd shared his prayer intention for readers of MISSION<br />

<strong>Magazine</strong>. He earnestly requested prayers for mutual understanding and<br />

compassion among all people.<br />

“Christians in Pakistan, when they think of the Western world, we think of<br />

you as our elder brothers and sisters in the faith, as the center of Christianity,”<br />

he said. “We feel very connected with you all, in faith and spirit, strengthened<br />

by your faith and your ability to live your faith openly. You can make the sign<br />

of the cross in public and not fear you will be stoned. We hope to one day be<br />

able to have this too, but until then, we ask that you value and appreciate this<br />

right, not taking it for granted.”

9<br />

Missio:<br />

In 45 seconds<br />

By Monsignor Mounir Seccal *<br />

On Monday, February 6, <strong>2023</strong>, at 4:17 a.m., a 7.8-magnitude earthquake<br />

struck our country, Syria, and neighboring Turkey, followed by three more<br />

during the day. The city of Aleppo, very close to the epicenter, was hard-hit.<br />

This massive earthquake was a devastating catastrophe, adding to the misery<br />

and despair caused by eleven years of war.<br />

The situation in Aleppo weeks after the earthquake was catastrophic with<br />

chaos and desolation. The inhabitants had to flee their homes to take shelter<br />

in their cars and in the streets amidst pouring rain. The first thing we did to<br />

shelter the population was to open the churches and monastery gardens.<br />

This nightmarish earthquake has added another thorn to the wounds of our<br />

agonizing population. Syria is living through a real tragedy. According to the<br />

latest UN reports, more than half the population is living in poverty, not to<br />

mention the sanctions and Caesar’s law.

10<br />

The country is<br />

suffering from a<br />

shortage of products<br />

vital to daily life: no<br />

electricity, no heating<br />

oil, no petrol, and<br />

inflation due to the<br />

devaluation of the<br />

Syrian pound. It’s a<br />

real state of despair<br />

and anguish.<br />

In this state of<br />

generalized crisis<br />

The tragedy in numbers:<br />

People who died: 8,476 (in Syria alone, with another<br />

50,783 dead in Turkey)<br />

Families affected 91.793 (414.304 individuals)<br />

Survivors rescued from the rubble: 1.553<br />

Buildings that need to be demolished: 4.444<br />

Buildings that need to be reinforced for safe return: 29.751<br />

Buildings that are safe but require maintenance 30.113<br />

and thanks to the mobilization of young citizens and scouts, we managed<br />

to come to the aid of people in distress, providing them with blankets and<br />

meals from our coffers, which are already empty due to years of war and the<br />

difficulty, even the inability, of obtaining aid from compatriots abroad. Transfers<br />

are forbidden and the blockade is<br />

killing us slowly. Cold, famine and<br />

insecurity are our forebodings.<br />

Today, months after this disaster,<br />

we are coming to terms with the<br />

scale of the catastrophe and realizing<br />

that we alone are unable to meet the<br />

financial needs to repair the damage.<br />

Most of the foundations of the houses<br />

have been hit and are in urgent need<br />

of restoration so that the inhabitants<br />

can return to their homes in complete<br />

safety.<br />

We Christians in Syria, the cradle of Christianity, have been suffering for a<br />

decade now, with a generation of teenagers who have known nothing but fear<br />

and insecurity. We are the salt of this once-blessed land, and we hope to remain<br />

so. (Before 2011, we made up 12% of the Syrian population. Today, Christians<br />

account for less than 4%.)

11<br />

Help us support the faithful who<br />

have stayed to protect the cradle of<br />

Christianity by helping us financially<br />

and psychologically. Help us to make<br />

our cries of distress heard by the deaf<br />

ears of the world’s leaders, so that their<br />

bruised hearts and blinded eyes may<br />

open and feel for a people who have<br />

suffered martyrdom and continue to do<br />

so.<br />

Pray that we servants of the Church<br />

may have the strength to give comfort to<br />

our people so that they may rediscover<br />

faith and hope for better days.<br />

I would like to close my humble testimony inviting you all to join me in<br />

imploring the Virgin Mary and Saint Anthony of Padua to keep our country<br />

at peace:<br />

“O Saint Anthony, the kindest of saints,<br />

your love of God and His creatures has<br />

earned you miraculous powers on this<br />

earth. We implore you to intercede on<br />

our behalf. Whisper our request in the<br />

ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved<br />

to snuggle in your arms. Protect our<br />

country and our people from natural<br />

and humanitarian disasters. O Saint<br />

Anthony, saint of miracles, whose heart<br />

was filled with human compassion, we<br />

pray to you. Answer our prayers, and<br />

we will be grateful to you forever.”<br />

*The author is the National Director of The Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies Syria. Immediately following the<br />

earthquake that impacted [country], TPMS USA launched an online campaign through our crowdfunding<br />

platform, www.missio.org. Close to $900,000 was raised, making it the most successful project on the<br />

platform thus far. This was accomplished in great part thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Catholics<br />

in Los Angeles and the local <strong>Mission</strong> office, which raised $425,000. The funds raised are being allocated to<br />

help rebuild churches in both countries.

12<br />

Propagation of the Faith:<br />

The Light of the<br />

Gospel Shines Brightly<br />

in the Darkest Corners<br />

of Cameroon<br />

By Father Gervais Levis Kamwa Kouam, CM<br />

I am Father Gervais Levis Kamwa Kouam, CM, a missionary priest from the<br />

Congregation of the <strong>Mission</strong>, commonly known as the Vincentian Priests and<br />

Brothers, recognized in the USA. I belong to the Vice-Province of Cameroon,<br />

which serves the Republic of Chad and Equatorial Guinea, where we also<br />

have missions. Before I delve into my missionary experience, particularly<br />

highlighting the tangible impact of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith<br />

in our evangelization efforts among the impoverished in Cameroon and how<br />

the support from Catholics in the United States is aiding my Vice-Province in<br />

spreading the message of the Gospel, I would like to provide a brief overview

of my home country and the presence of the Catholic Church in Cameroon.<br />

Cameroon, located in Central Africa on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea,<br />

holds a profound place of importance within my heart. This diverse nation<br />

is home to 240 ethnic groups, categorized into three main groups: the Bantus,<br />

Semi-Bantus, and Sudanese. The population is divided in their language usage,<br />

with 70% speaking French and 30% speaking English. Additionally, Spanish<br />

and German are also spoken by many.<br />

However, Cameroon currently faces numerous crises that threaten its social<br />

fabric. Food and military insecurity loom large, especially due to internal<br />

conflicts in the Southwest and Northwest regions, as well as the ongoing<br />

war against the Islamic group Boko Haram in the North. The Cameroonian<br />

constitution establishes the country as a secular state, with provisions<br />

prohibiting religious harassment and ensuring freedom of religion and<br />

worship. Although Islam is practiced alongside Christianity, it is the latter<br />

that holds the dominant position, with 70% of the population identifying<br />

as Christian. Of this Christian population, 38.4% are Roman Catholic, while<br />

26.3% belong to Protestant denominations. Consequently, the Catholic Church<br />

wields significant influence and maintains a strong presence throughout<br />

various communities in the country.<br />

With five ecclesiastical provinces and twenty-one dioceses, the Catholic<br />

Church in Cameroon plays an active role in education and healthcare. It runs<br />

numerous schools, colleges, high schools, universities, hospitals, clinics, and<br />

health centers. These Catholic institutions spare no effort in contributing<br />

to the education and well-being of the population, leaving an indelible<br />

mark. Many of Cameroon’s current decision-makers, including the head<br />

of state, have passed through minor seminaries run by diocesan priests or<br />

religious missionaries. Although these leaders may not always meet the<br />

expectations placed upon them, the Catholic Church has undeniably shaped<br />

the education and training of the country’s elite. Furthermore, the Church is<br />

extensively involved in social and charitable initiatives, actively participating<br />

in implementing community development projects.<br />

Yet, the work of evangelization in Cameroon is not solely the result of<br />

the Catholic Church’s efforts but also a testament to the commitment and<br />

missionary presence of various religious congregations. Each congregation<br />

brings unique charisms and spiritualities that bear visible fruit in the growing<br />


14<br />

work of evangelization and the flourishing of priestly and religious vocations.<br />

In Cameroon, there are over a hundred religious congregations, with women’s<br />

congregations comprising 75% and men’s congregations making up the<br />

remaining 25%.<br />

The Vincentian Fathers and Brothers is one such religious congregation that<br />

has been present in Cameroon since 1980. The story of my vocation within<br />

the Congregation of the <strong>Mission</strong> is a captivating combination of mystery and<br />

gift. Pinpointing the exact origin of my vocation remains a mystery to me,<br />

but I primarily perceive it as a divine gift. Throughout my life and journey<br />

of faith, I have encountered numerous individuals at decisive moments, each<br />

contributing to the unfolding of my vocation. These encounters kindled within<br />

me a profound desire to become a priest, a passion that lay deep within my<br />

soul. I attribute a significant part of this calling to my service as an altar boy in<br />

the Church.<br />

However, the specific call to become a missionary within the Congregation<br />

of the <strong>Mission</strong>, rather than a diocesan priest, emerged from my attraction to<br />

their unique way of life and work. These priests, with their distinctive style,<br />

impressed me greatly through their closeness to the afflicted and the poor.<br />

Witnessing these missionary priests’ tireless<br />

dedication in serving others, laboring with<br />

their own hands, and observing the positive<br />

impact they had on the lives of the faithful<br />

within my parish, left an indelible impression<br />

on me. Their spirituality resonated deeply with<br />

my own personality, which inherently despised<br />

injustice and suffering in my surroundings.<br />

The impact of the Society for the Propagation<br />

of the Faith on the evangelization work of the<br />

Vincentian Fathers and Brothers in Cameroon<br />

is immeasurable and profound. The support<br />

provided by the Propaganda Fide (also<br />

known as the Vatican’s Congregation for the<br />

Evangelization of Peoples), made possible<br />

through the generosity of Catholics in the<br />

United States empowers the Vincentians in

Cameroon to continue their<br />

tireless efforts in spreading<br />

the message of the Gospel<br />

among the impoverished. This<br />

support has tangible effects on<br />

the ground.<br />

Thanks to the generosity of<br />

Catholics in the United States,<br />

the Vice-Province of Cameroon<br />

can offer full scholarships to<br />

children from the poorest families, ensuring that their education is not hindered<br />

by the lack of financial resources faced by their parents or grandparents.<br />

Additionally, this support enables us to conduct popular missions, which are<br />

impactful evangelization campaigns, reaching out to Christians in remote<br />

areas who may have limited access to spiritual guidance and resources.<br />

Furthermore, the assistance from Christians in the United States through the<br />

Society of St. Peter the Apostle greatly aids in the training of seminarians in<br />

theology, as they prepare themselves for sacred orders. This training is vital for<br />

nurturing future priests who will carry the torch of faith and serve the Church<br />

and its people with devotion and compassion.<br />

In essence, the Vice-Province of the Congregation of the <strong>Mission</strong> of Cameroon<br />

is profoundly grateful for the unwavering support received from Christians in<br />

the United States. Your selfless generosity enables us to continue our mission<br />

among the poor, following in the footsteps of our revered patron, St. Vincent de<br />

Paul. The impact of your contributions is felt deeply, as lives are transformed,<br />

hope is restored, and the light of the Gospel shines brightly in the darkest<br />

corners of Cameroon. Together, we are instruments of God’s love and mercy,<br />

bringing solace and salvation to those in need.<br />

May God bless each and every one of you who, through your support and<br />

prayers, make it possible for us to carry out our mission. Your partnership<br />

strengthens our resolve, ignites our passion, and fuels our determination to<br />

bring the joy of the Gospel to those who need it the most. With heartfelt gratitude,<br />

we continue to serve, guided by the love of Christ and the unwavering support<br />

of our brothers and sisters in the United States.<br />


16<br />

Society of St. Peter: Ukraine:<br />

The resilience of<br />

David against Goliath<br />

By Inés San Martín<br />

“I think it’s a miracle, David standing up to Goliath. It is not natural, it is<br />

supernatural,” said Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Metropolitan-Archbishop of<br />

the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia when speaking about<br />

what he has seen during his six visits to Ukraine following Russia’s February<br />

2022 invasion.<br />

In an exclusive interview with MISSION <strong>Magazine</strong>, Archbishop Gudziak<br />

shed light on the dire situation in Ukraine and the vital role of the Ukrainian<br />

Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) in providing support and hope to those<br />

affected by the conflict.<br />

“Every visit is tougher than the previous one, but at the same time, it isn’t,”<br />

he said. “The way the people are resilient, there is a lot of humor, there are<br />

songs, there are memes, it is awe-inspiring.”

“Obviously, there is incredible exhaustion and the suffering is cringeworthy,”<br />

Archbishop Gudziak said. “But people understand very clearly that<br />

if Russia is allowed to occupy Ukraine, there will be genocide, in addition to<br />

the ongoing ecocide. And there have been genocidal manifestations and crimes<br />

against humanity in the past 18 months.”<br />

He has visited Butcha, a city near Kiev, the country’s capital, occupied<br />

by Russia between March 4 and 31, 2022, and what he has seen there “is<br />

devastating,” as is the witness of the first respondents he spoke to, those who<br />

first found the mass graves for the 1,400 people tortured and killed in a span<br />

of a month.<br />

“It is devastating,” he insisted. But “there is this other side of the coin,<br />

incredible valor, which makes you straighten up because how can we falter<br />

when those living in Ukraine today are standing tall?”<br />

Since the war started, the UGCC has been at the forefront of humanitarian<br />

relief efforts. Archbishop Gudziak’s Archeparchy, for instance, raised nine<br />

million dollars to support various projects aimed at assisting those in need.<br />

From providing medical supplies like bandages and tourniquets to offering<br />

aid to the six million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and eight million<br />

refugees, the Church has been a beacon of hope for the vulnerable.<br />

The UGCC is not<br />

foreign to persecution<br />

and martyrdom. On the<br />

contrary, as Archbishop<br />

Gudziak pointed out, every<br />

time Russia has occupied<br />

Ukraine since the 18th<br />

century, his Church, the<br />

largest of the Eastern Rite<br />

churches in communion<br />

with Rome, has been<br />

banned. In the Soviet era,<br />

the UGCC was the largest<br />

illegal religious body in<br />

the world and suffered<br />

mightily for it.<br />


18<br />

When the Soviet Union dissolved and Ukraine regained its independence, the<br />

Church experienced a rebirth: After driving 3.5 million faithful underground<br />

and confiscating almost all of its property, a post-Soviet Ukraine allowed<br />

the UGCC to reemerge. From that point, it rose from the catacombs with<br />

miraculous growth: Over 3,000 priests died in the gulags, and by the time<br />

Ukraine regained its independence, only 300 were left, and not all of them in<br />

Ukraine. Today, this Church claims more than seven million faithful and 3,000<br />

priests, with 100 being ordained each year and more than 800 seminarians.<br />

Archbishop Gudziak highlighted the challenges faced by the Church in<br />

occupied territories today, where Russian forces once again seek to abolish<br />

the UGCC. Arrests, torture, and disappearances of priests have been reported,<br />

highlighting the ongoing persecution. The contrast with the Russian Orthodox<br />

Church is striking, as the archbishop points out that not a single Orthodox<br />

bishop has spoken against the war, and less than one percent of the clergy has<br />

voiced opposition.<br />

The legendary Ukrainian Cardinal Josef Slipyj, who spent two decades in<br />

the gulags, once said that his Church had been buried under “mountains of<br />

corpses and rivers of blood.” During his 2001 visit to Ukraine, John Paul II<br />

beatified 27 Greek Catholic martyrs under the Soviets — one of whom had<br />

been boiled alive, another crucified in prison, and a third bricked into a wall.<br />

Yet despite this persecution, or perhaps because of its resilience in the face<br />

of oppression, the UGCC has long been among the most important prodemocracy<br />

forces in Ukraine. And this, Archbishop Gudziak believes, is<br />

directly tied to Cardinal Slipyj and his articulation of Catholic Social Doctrine,<br />

which he summarizes as “God-given human dignity, solidarity, subsidiarity,<br />

and the common human good.”<br />

“The Church in Ukraine went underground during WWII having lived<br />

under his leadership, and we remained underground for two generations,”<br />

said Archbishop Gudziak. “When we were finally free to come out from the<br />

catacombs, with our hands clean for not having collaborated in any way with<br />

Russia, the UGCC became a strong moral voice. And we have remained such<br />

for the past 35 years.”<br />

Referring once again to the resilience of the Ukrainian people, this Syracuseborn<br />

son of Ukrainian immigrants said that it was during a recent visit to New<br />

York that it dawned on him the solidarity he had witnessed in his parents’<br />


19<br />

Archbishop Borys Gudziak in Ukraine, during a pastoral visit in 2022. Picture courtesy of the Ukrainian Catholic<br />

Archeparchy of Philadelphia, by Oleh Hryb.<br />

“Seeing a homeless man in New York, I realized that I had encountered none<br />

in Ukraine during my visits following the invasion,” Archbishop Gudziak<br />

said. “And this is explained by the incredible solidarity we have seen in this<br />

country since the invasion began. People have opened to each other, just like<br />

Poles have opened up to Ukrainians.”<br />

As the war rages on and the Ukrainian people face unimaginable hardships,<br />

may Archbishop Gudziak’s words serve as a call to action. The bravery and<br />

resilience of the Ukrainian people, coupled with the unwavering support of<br />

the UGCC, its priests, religious and seminarians, highlight the strength of the<br />

human spirit in the face of adversity.<br />

“Please, continue praying, continue advocating, explaining what is going on,<br />

and continue helping in whatever way you can,” Archbishop Gudziak said,<br />

urging the family of The Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies to continue making a<br />

difference and bringing hope to a nation in need.

20<br />

WYD:<br />

Todos, Todos, Todos<br />

By Isabella Wagner *<br />

“Todos, todos, todos.” This is a phrase that<br />

Pope Francis repeated throughout his time<br />

in Lisbon, Portugal, for World Youth Day.<br />

Approximately one and a half million other<br />

pilgrims- myself included!- were asked to<br />

consider these words during our pilgrimage.<br />

Translated to “everyone, everyone, everyone”<br />

in English, these three words hold tremendous<br />

significance not only in relation to my<br />

experience at World Youth Day but also to the<br />

missionary vocation to which we’re all called<br />

as members of the Church.<br />

I traveled to World Youth Day to educate young pilgrims about the work<br />

of the Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies in over one thousand mission territories<br />

worldwide and their own baptismal call to be missionaries, bringing Christ to<br />

every corner of the globe. As a first-time attendee of the event, it was a beautiful<br />

sight witnessing the universality of the Church and recognizing that we were<br />

all joined together in prayer for the Church and each other.<br />

Todos. Everyone.<br />

The crowds of young people flooding the streets of Lisbon stand as a<br />

testament to the bright future of our Church and its capability to stay true to<br />

its values while embracing everyone eager to experience Christ’s love. I met<br />

pilgrims of every age from every continent, brimming with passion for their<br />

faith. I found myself praying alongside individuals I had only known for a<br />

fleeting moment and who didn’t speak my language. Yet, we were united by<br />

our universal family, the Church, which transcends both time and space—<br />


21<br />

Pope Francis’ words resonate not only with the experience of World Youth<br />

Day but also with the role of Catholics as missionaries. “Todos, todos, todos.”<br />

Each one of us is named and called by God to know and love Him—todos. This<br />

calling is a testament to God’s love for every single one of us—todos. Since we<br />

are cherished by God, we are driven to share the truth of Christ’s life, death,<br />

and resurrection with all nations—todos. This missionary call propels us to<br />

learn and express our faith daily, guiding others in our orbit to do likewise.<br />

Moreover, we empower others to discover and embody their faith in mission<br />

territories, especially where the Church’s presence is minimal or financially<br />

constrained. Sharing God’s love introduces them to His essence, and through<br />

your prayers and contributions, you endow those in the <strong>Mission</strong>s with an<br />

opportunity to recognize the Church as their spiritual sanctuary. You help<br />

disseminate the joy of missionary zeal.<br />

Being in Lisbon with the Holy Father and over a million devout Catholics<br />

was thrilling and humbling, seeing the fervor with which so many embrace<br />

their missionary call. As Pope Francis expressed, “la alegria es misionera” or<br />

“joy is missionary.” Sharing Christ infuses joy into the world and our lives.<br />

God’s love, Pope Francis imparted, is “the starting point of World Youth Day,<br />

but above all, the starting point of our lives. We are loved as we are, unadorned.<br />

Do you grasp that? And each one of us is beckoned by name.”<br />

May every single one of us- not only those who participated in this youth<br />

festival, remember that God calls each of us by name. And we are asked to do<br />

our best so that everyone knows this truth, especially those who have never<br />

heard of Christ’s redeeming love.<br />

*The author is the Development and Stewardship Coordinator of The Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies USA.

22<br />

The <strong>Mission</strong>ary Union of Priests<br />

and Religious:<br />

Why Would Anyone<br />

Come Back Here?<br />

by Paul Franzetti<br />

A bishop once said, “If you want to be remembered by the Church, become<br />

a saint.” The Book of Ecclesiastes says: “A good life lasts a certain number of<br />

days, but a good reputation lasts forever.” This will be so for Sr. Anne Credidio.<br />

In 1997, my son James joined Rostro de Cristo (Face of Christ) as a volunteer<br />

missionary and spent a year among the poor in Ecuador. He served the poor<br />

in schools, soup kitchens, and the Damien House, located in one of the most<br />

dangerous parts of Guayaquil. He and other volunteers used to wade through<br />

piles of rotting fruit behind the supermarkets of Guayaquil to pick out edible<br />

pieces for the patients.<br />

But the lepers in her hospital were cheerful and content.<br />

When I met Sr. Annie, I saw the truth in what my son said about her: She<br />

lived to serve the poor. Like all saints, she radiated joy. And she worked hard.<br />

One time, she lugged seven large duffle bags to the airport filled with medicine.<br />

In 2006, I visited the Damien House. I asked her about a room filled with<br />

toys; she answered, “We’re running a raffle to raise money.” To put it another<br />

way, the Wolf is always at the door.<br />

Leprosy is as old as humanity, but it is the same cruel and dreaded scourge<br />

today as it was in ancient times. It is also called Hansen’s disease, after the<br />

Norwegian scientist Gerhard Hansen, who identified the leprosy bacillus.<br />

Most people believe that leprosy is a thing of the past. However, it exists<br />

where there is poverty, malnutrition, poor sanitation, contaminated water, and<br />

little medical care.

23<br />

León, one of the residents of Damien House, a residential hospital for over 30 Hansen’s patients (people with leprosy) in<br />

Guayaquil, Ecuador, run by missionary Sister Anne Credidio.<br />

And it is still feared. Jesus cured the lepers. Unable to do so herself, Sister<br />

Annie hugs them.<br />

Born in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 1949, she joined the Congregation of the<br />

Sisters of Charity. Before making her final vows, she volunteered to spend a<br />

year in South America.

24<br />

The event that changed her life occurred on Christmas Eve of 1984, as she<br />

waited for Mass to begin. She saw a woman crawling along the floor. The<br />

woman dropped her shoes because she had no toes. The woman, whose name<br />

was Emma, was a leper; the bridge of her nose was collapsed; her eyes were<br />

clouded over. She stretched out the stump of her hand to Sister Annie, smiled,<br />

and said, “Welcome.”<br />

“She had the most beautiful smile, and I<br />

knew I was looking at the face of Christ.”<br />

Seeing the sadness in the eyes of those around<br />

her, Annie began to hug them. “That Mass<br />

changed my life.”<br />

At the clinic, she witnessed firsthand the<br />

deplorable situation, the degradation of the<br />

patients: most slept on mats on the floor,<br />

where rats crawled in the night; the food was<br />

inedible, full of vermin. When Sr. Annie went<br />

into the hospital kitchen to get food, a rat<br />

jumped on her foot. Then she looked up at a<br />

hole in the ceiling, and a cat dropped down.<br />

Clearly, the officials had marginalized these<br />

Brooklyn-born Sister Anne Credidio.<br />

patients.<br />

Traditionally, governments don’t handle some diseases well. Fear rules<br />

their laws. In the 1860s, for example, the Hawaiian government quarantined<br />

thousands of lepers to the Island of Molokai, which became a sort of tropical<br />

madhouse—until a Belgian priest, Fr. Damien Veuster, came to live, work, and<br />

die there.<br />

Sr. Annie walks in Fr. Damien’s footsteps.<br />

When she had to return home to complete her vows, she promised the<br />

patients she’d be back. They looked at her: “Yeah. That’s what they all say. But<br />

you won’t come back. Why would you? Why would anyone come back here?”<br />

She prayed for direction. She found her vocation: “After that, I never doubted<br />

my vocation.”<br />

Back in Guayaquil, she battled South American bureaucracy and hostility.<br />

“They dragged me through the mud. I had no voice. I had three strikes<br />

against me. I was a woman, a foreigner, and a nun.”

25<br />

She persisted, they relented. In 1995, the government allowed her to take<br />

over the clinic.<br />

Thirty years later, when other charitable institutions have closed down, the<br />

Damien House remains. As she always says, “It’s God’s work, not mine.”<br />

Like Damien isolated on Molokai, today Sr. Annie lives in her hospital. She<br />

trusts in God. She is stable, determined, and joyful. She inspires everyone who<br />

visits her hospital. One doctor from the Midwest, Richard Schwend, uses his<br />

vacation time to do nerve restoration surgery there.<br />

People in the neighborhood revere her name. I saw this for myself.<br />

The Damien House website will give you information about what they do<br />

and how you can help. But it won’t give you the most important detail, it is run<br />

by Sr. Annie, a missionary nun and a living saint, a woman who, like Joan of<br />

Arc, can say: “I am not afraid. God is with me. I was born for this.”<br />

Another one of the residents of Damien House.

Photo credit: Nancy Wiechec/CNS<br />

26<br />

From the Dioceses:<br />

Some give by going –<br />

others go by giving<br />

By Michele Meiers, TPMS Philadelphia<br />

The home was one room made of<br />

dirt with a roof of corrugated waferthin<br />

tin panels. It was so dark that<br />

one could hardly see anything. The<br />

blackness was all-encompassing.<br />

We encountered Michael, a sick<br />

and suffering man, in this dark room.<br />

His stomach was enlarged, and no<br />

one could determine the cause. He<br />

had no money, and he relied on the<br />

support of the local priest to survive.<br />

He depended on this community to<br />

take him to a local clinic for further<br />

testing.<br />

Kenya<br />

Population: 53 million<br />

Catholics: 10 million<br />

83 percent of the population lives<br />

with less than $6 a day

He had no diagnosis. No electricity. No running water. No bed: he spent his<br />

days and nights lying atop straws and leaves to cushion the dirt floor.<br />

The tin roof and the lack of windows under the scorching Kenyan summer<br />

sun also meant there was barely any air to breathe.<br />

And yet, when you entered this home, where Michael’s outline was barely<br />

identifiable, his large, unforgettable eyes shone like two beacons full of hope.<br />

Michael is one of too many people who live in Makuru, a collection of 30<br />

slums in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. These “informal settlements” that<br />

occupy a five-mile area are home to over 750,000 people who live in one-room<br />

dwellings stacked atop each other. Families of four, six, and up to ten people<br />

live in corrugated tin boxes with nothing but mud for the floor. For the tens of<br />

thousands who left their rural homes fleeing poverty and dreaming of a better<br />

life with jobs “in the big city,” a river of sewage serves as a road, unmapped by<br />

Google Street View cars.<br />

Michael, whose eyes filled to the brim with hope I cannot forget, is but one<br />

of the people I encountered during my mission trip to Kenya. Soon after the<br />

oppressive experience of visiting this man, we went to Saint Mary’s parish,<br />

which was also located in one of Nairobi’s “informal settlements,” but in a<br />

beautiful mountain oasis that reminded me of the story of the Transfiguration<br />

of Our Lord.<br />

I felt God’s loving presence the second I set foot in this parish for Mass.<br />

He was there among His people. A choir of angels was singing, and all were<br />

dancing, praising the Lord, accompanying the choir with these beautiful, birdlike<br />

African sounds. In a language that escaped me, the meaning behind these<br />

words was clear: “God, we love You, please, hear our prayer!”<br />

The vibrancy of this congregation was contagious. Despite the sweltering<br />

heat of the mid-afternoon sun, everyone was dressed in their Sunday best.<br />

Crisp white shirts, ties, hand-made skirts, and lovely simple dresses adorned<br />

each person, whether 18 months of age or eighty. Seeing them dressed to the<br />

nines, I couldn’t avoid wondering how they managed to have their clothes<br />

spotlessly clean in a village without electricity or running water, much less a<br />

washing machine.<br />

None of the people I was traveling with understood a word of Swahili, the<br />

language used during the three-hour Mass. Yet the love for God the faithful<br />

had was palpable. They praised Him in every motion and with every word. As<br />


28<br />

the choir—at least a third of those in attendance—sang anthems of praise, as a<br />

group of young dancers praised to the rhythm of the music that had everyone<br />

glorifying the Lord, it was easy to forget that this incredible spiritual experience<br />

was taking place in a poorly ventilated church, with no fans on the roofs, much<br />

less air conditioning.<br />

And just when I thought the experience couldn’t be more moving, the climax:<br />

a young boy held high on the shoulders of an older man, lifting the Holy Book,<br />

came marching down the church’s center aisle. This procession of the Holy<br />

Word of God visible from all the corners of Saint Mary’s spoke volumes: “God<br />

is with us in His Word, listen.”<br />

During this extraordinary, beautiful Mass, I couldn’t help but feel like<br />

the great fathers of the Church, Moses and Elijah, must have felt during the<br />

Transfiguration when Jesus was presented to them as the Son of God. In this<br />

parish church in Kenya, I felt all three figures were alive, well, and present.<br />

The contrast between these two experiences—the suffering, helplessness,<br />

and seeming despair of Michael’s situation and the glorious hope, joy, and<br />

deep faith during Mass at Saint Mary’s—poses many questions. One can easily<br />

understand how the Eucharist can be such a life-transforming experience.<br />

But as I was there, and even to this day, I struggled not to question how it is<br />

possible that so many people in the world live in the conditions Michael does.<br />

Why can’t we fix it?<br />

And yes, even “where is God amidst this much suffering and injustice?”<br />

Three out of five Catholics in the world live in hardship: families barely<br />

have one meal a day; there’s no<br />

water to quench their thirst or<br />

clean their bodies, and more often<br />

than not, when there is, they have<br />

to walk miles to retrieve it and<br />

neither you nor I would be able to<br />

stomach drinking it. Corrugated<br />

tin, dirt, and cardboard shelter<br />

them from the elements, and<br />

children often have to drop out<br />

of school before they have even<br />

Michele Meiers during her mission visit to Kenya.<br />

learned to read and write.

29<br />

But I could see God’s reflection in Michael’s eyes.<br />

I worked in Philadelphia’s Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies office for many years<br />

before I embarked on this life-changing mission trip to Kenya. Up until that<br />

point, much like the patroness of the missions, Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, or<br />

the founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Blessed Pauline<br />

Jaricot, I was moved to action after hearing the stories of missionary priests and<br />

religious brothers and sisters, who over the phone or visiting our archdiocese,<br />

shared their lives and ministries with me.<br />

Upon hearing from them, I made it my mission to echo those voices, inspire<br />

others to pray for the missions, and sacrifice to help others proclaim Jesus’ love<br />

for all, like Saint Thérèse and Blessed Pauline did, despite never leaving their<br />

native France.<br />

In Nairobi, I was able to touch the wounds of Christ and also experience his<br />

redeeming glory. The hope in Michael’s eyes, the joy in Saint Mary’s church,<br />

can only be explained as a gift from God. If that joy they radiated wasn’t a gift<br />

from Christ, rooted in the knowledge of His love, it would not last a minute<br />

under that oppressive sun.<br />

My visit to Kenya forever changed my life and helped me understand what<br />

we mean when we say that God calls us all to service, even in different ways.<br />

We are all called, by our baptism, to be missionaries and to “go and make<br />

disciples of all nations”, being witnesses and giving testimony of our faith.<br />

And we are each called to answer this command in different ways. As my good<br />

friend and fellow Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies director, Maureen Heil from<br />

Boston, says, “Some give by going—others go by giving.” And sometimes, we<br />

get to be both!<br />

No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, what God has planned for those who love.<br />

No human heart nor human mind can pierce the mind of God above.<br />

The Lord has stored up treasures great for ev’ry women, ev’ry man<br />

Who perseveres in Christian life, who remains faithful in God’s plan.<br />


30<br />

Editor’s Note:<br />

Hearts on Fire,<br />

Feet on the Move<br />

Dear readers,<br />

As we come to the close of this <strong>Autumn</strong> edition of MISSION <strong>Magazine</strong>, I<br />

want to begin by once again thanking you for the support, positive feedback,<br />

and generosity you have shown following the last issue of MISSION <strong>Magazine</strong>,<br />

which was dedicated to India.<br />

I also thank all those who submitted stories for this edition, particularly those<br />

we couldn’t feature: As promised, however, they will be published on our<br />

website, www.onefamilyinmission.org. It’s been an honor to be overwhelmed<br />

by so many wonderful stories, which I do hope you will continue to send to<br />

contact@missio.org.<br />

As we set to produce this edition, deeply rooted in World <strong>Mission</strong> Sunday,<br />

which will be celebrated in every single parish in the world on Sunday, October<br />

22nd, Pope Francis’ message for this day, under the theme “Hearts on fire,<br />

feet on the move,” made our work easy. His words draw inspiration from the<br />

encounter of the disciples with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, capturing the<br />

essence of missionary discipleship and its transformative power in our lives.<br />

“Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the way<br />

and opened the Scriptures to us?” is what the disciples said to one another<br />

following their encounter with Christ, whom as Pope Francis wrote, “is<br />

Himself the living Word, who alone can make our hearts burn within us, as He<br />

enlightens and transforms them.”<br />

The Pope reminds us of the critical role of the word of God in illuminating<br />

and transforming our hearts. Like the disciples, who experienced a shift from<br />

confusion and dismay to burning hearts, we too are called to let the Scriptures<br />

guide and inspire us on our mission to spread the Gospel where it has yet to<br />

take root.

We are called to be missionary disciples, actively sharing the good news,<br />

breaking the bread of life, and inviting all people to join us on the path of peace<br />

and salvation.<br />

If you have gotten this far in this issue of MISSION <strong>Magazine</strong>, then you<br />

have read about the men and women missionaries who, despite challenges<br />

and hardships, remain steadfast in their commitment to the mission of<br />

evangelization. Their generosity and sacrifices are a true testament to their love<br />

for Christ and their desire to bring His light to distant lands.<br />

This October, World <strong>Mission</strong> Month, can you support them with daily<br />

prayer as Blessed Pauline Jaricot urged her friends to do? She also asked them<br />

to generously contribute a penny a week, which was a big sacrifice for many at<br />

the time. Those pennies helped build the Church in the United States. Can you<br />

help us pay it forward?<br />


32<br />

Listen now!<br />

“The thing that I find in the areas that we work,<br />

that people appreciate most, is that there’s priests<br />

there full-time to not only to offer Eucharist, but to<br />

be present,” said Father Terry Kersch on the fifth<br />

episode of Frontiers of Faith, the weekly podcast of The Pontifical<br />

<strong>Mission</strong> Societies. “They appreciate having a priest for births, deaths,<br />

weddings, the entire cycle of life.”<br />

According to this Basilian priest, in most mission territories in Latin<br />

America, where he served in the 90s, people are used to seeing a<br />

priest “once every six months,” so one of the things that moved him<br />

the most during his years as a missionary in Colombia and Mexico<br />

was the constant request that the religious community send a priest<br />

there to stay.<br />

“We work in communities where people cannot sustain a priest,<br />

much less a community of priests and religious sisters, hence the need<br />

for the mission appeals,” Father Kersch said.<br />

For regular stories on missionaries and how, through your prayers<br />

and generosity, you are helping them spread the joy of the Gospel,<br />

join Msgr. Kieran Harrington and Katie Ruvalcaba in the weekly<br />

podcast of The Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies, premiering each Friday<br />

in most podcast platforms.<br />

Journey with them as they talk with missionaries from Asia, Africa,<br />

Latin America about the modern-day impact of mission work in these<br />

regions. Gain new perspectives on faith, cultural encounters, and<br />

spiritual transformation as they share their experiences and wisdom.

In support of those spreading the Gospel…<br />

The money needed to support those serving in the Pope’s missions comes<br />

from loving Catholics like you.<br />

Won’t you send whatever contribution you can in the enclosed envelope<br />

today so that the priests, religious and lay pastoral leaders in the<br />

missions may not only survive, but thrive, in their ministry?<br />

Dear Monsignor Kieran,<br />

Enclosed is my gift of:<br />

Thank you for supporting our missionaries.<br />

Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family.<br />

Monsignor Kieran<br />

$250 $100 $75 $50 $25 Other $_____<br />

$700 (one year’s help, mission seminarian)<br />

$300 (one year’s help, Religious novice)<br />

$5,000 $2,500 $1,000 $500 Other $____<br />

I want to be a monthly donor to the <strong>Mission</strong>s!<br />

I would like information on a Gift Annuity.<br />

Please contact me about remembering The Society for the Propagation<br />

of the Faith in my Will.<br />

Name<br />

email<br />

Address<br />

City State Zip<br />

Send your gift, in your MISSION envelope, to:<br />

Monsignor Kieran Harrington<br />

Society for the Propagation of the Faith<br />

70 West 36th Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10018<br />

Your diocese will be credited with your gift;<br />

your gift is tax deductible.

Are you a priest, lay person or religious who is interested in being an<br />

ambassador for The Pontifical <strong>Mission</strong> Societies in the United States?<br />

You can sign up by filling this form, sending it back to us:<br />

Name<br />

Last Name<br />

Email address<br />

Mobile Number<br />

Diocese<br />

Physical address<br />

Are you on social media? Because we are also looking for virtual missionaries!<br />

Facebook<br />

Instagram<br />

Twitter<br />

Threads<br />

Other<br />

You can also complete it online!

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