Since 1926 the Mission Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago, also known as The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, has educated and inspired the faithful to take seriously their baptismal responsibility to be on mission in whatever context they live and work. The Office is at the service of the worldwide Church while remaining firmly rooted in the Archdiocese of Chicago. It also serves as the local representative for the Pontifical Mission Societies.
The Pontifical Mission Societies were given the title “Pontifical” in 1922 and have special responsibility in the Universal Church. They are under the direct canonical jurisdiction of the Holy Father who, together with the entire body of Bishops, remind all the faithful of their baptismal call to mission. They also remind us to offer financial support through the Pontifical Mission Societies for more than 1,111 mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Pacific Islands and Latin America. The Pontifical Mission Societies are:
– The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, which seeks prayer and sacrifice for foreign missions to support pastoral programs, catechetical work, building churches, health care systems and schools;
– The Missionary Childhood Association, which enables youth to participate in the mission work of the Church through education, prayer and support, from children to children across the continents;
– The Society of St. Peter Apostle, which supports the education of candidates for the priesthood in the developing world and the formation of religious men and women in the mission dioceses; and
– The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious, which encourages and forms missionary awareness in all priests and religious men and women so that they cultivate the missionary spirit in their ministries.
The Office seeks to collaborate with clergy, parishes, schools, religious women and men and other agencies and departments of the Archdiocese. It seeks the cooperation of the faithful in promoting the mission of Christ through their prayer, sacrifices and financial support.
The Missionary Cooperation Plan is administered by the Mission Office. Through this program missionary dioceses, religious congregations and lay mission groups are assigned to parishes to speak at weekend Mass in the name of their organization. It is also a way to make parishioners aware of the missionary work of the Church that is going on throughout the world.
World Mission Sunday (usually the third Sunday in October) is the primary initiative of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and serves as an opportunity for the whole Catholic Church to celebrate their call to participate in God’s mission in the world. Every parish celebrates it so as to strengthen the international missionary call of all the faithful.
All the baptised have the responsibility to be on mission, even the young, and so the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) was born! This is an organization made up of youths all over the world who pray, work and sacrifice for their brothers and sisters in faith, hence the motto, “Children Helping Children.” Here in Chicago, kids have the opportunity to learn more about children in mission dioceses, to experience new forms of prayer and participate in supporting the efforts of MCA. Materials are available to assist in the classroom or ministry and we are available to help bring mssion to life for the children of the archdiocese.