Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York

MISSION heading

The Missions:  An Overview of What the Pontifical Mission Societies Do….

Say “mission” today and most think of Africa and Asia, of faraway places where the poor hear the “Good News” of Jesus and experience the Lord’s great love through the work and witness of missionaries. But a century ago, the “Missions” were right here at home, and missionaries from Europe proclaimed the Gospel and served the poor on our shores, all motivated by the command of Jesus to “go, make disciples of all nations.”

The Pontifical Mission Societies are:   The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, The Society of St. Peter Apostle, Holy Childhood Association and Missionary Union of Priest and Religious

I would like to present some frequently asked questions about the Pontifical Mission Societies.  Both the questions and responses in this column are part of a number of Frequently Asked Questions that are found the Pontifical Mission Society webpage:   www.onefamilyinmission.org/faqs.html.

Where are the Pontifical Mission Societies located?

National offices exist in more than 120 countries around the world including the United States. Central administrative offices are located in Rome, Italy, under the direction of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The national office of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States is located in New York City. The national director is Father Andrew Small. In addition, every diocese in the United States has a diocesan director who is appointed by the Bishop of that diocese.

What makes the Pontifical Mission Societies unique from other mission organizations?  According to the teaching of Vatican Council II, the Pontifical Mission Societies are institutions of the Universal Church and of each local church. Therefore, unlike any other mission organization, the Pontifical Mission Societies are both pontifical and Episcopal in nature. And, as such, the Pontifical Mission Societies are recognized as the principal instrument for educating the faithful to an awareness of the Church’s universal mission and for encouraging their support, in prayer and sacrifice, for the evangelizing mission of the Church among two-thirds of the human family.

Perhaps these were questions you wondered about and are now answered for you!  Maybe you never even thought about such questions but hopefully enjoyed learning a bit about the Missions.