Mission Stories – Europe
Atop Rome’s Janiculum Hill, within the embrace of the Eternal City, the Pontifical Urban College stands as a beacon of the Church’s mission, its gaze set upon the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. This seminary, a historic cradle of the priesthood since 1627, is not just a witness to the universality of the Catholic Church but an active participant in shaping its future.
Pope Francis offered a message about his Mission Societies, during the recent meeting in Rome of his National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies to discuss and distribute the generosity of the world’s Catholics to the Mission Church Pope Francis emphatically talked about the Societies entrusted to him and that were given the name “pontifical.” This was done to show how very “dear to the heart” of the Pope are the Church’s Missions and Missionary work, he said. “In the Pope’s name, these Societies ensure a fair distribution of aid, so that all the world’s Churches have at least the minimum required for evangelization, for the Sacraments, for their priests, for seminaries, for pastoral work, and for catechists,” Pope Francis noted.
A young girl, through her love of God, inspired others to follow her example of prayer and giving to others. This seventeen-year-old recognizes the importance of her baptism and God’s calling to each of us to bring His word “ . . . to the nations.” This intuitive girl, known as Pauline Marie Jaricot, became the founder of the Societies and was beatified on May 22, 2022. She is an excellent can be our model of the union of prayer and giving.
The destruction caused by days of ongoing blasts in Ukraine has left people homeless, fleeing as refugees to other countries for shelter, or seeking safety in underground subways and hospital basements. There is a growing and urgent need for food and other basic aid. Through the Pontifical Mission Societies, you can support the priests, Religious Sisters and Brothers and lay pastoral leaders who are reaching out to those who are suffering and in need with concrete help, and with that help, offering HOPE.
“I think it’s a miracle, David standing up to Goliath. It is not natural, it is supernatural,” said Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Metropolitan-Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia when speaking about what he has seen during his six visits to Ukraine following Russia’s February 2022 invasion.
Laudato Si invites us to reclaim our Catholic Mission to care for God’s created world and the dignity of the human life created in the image of God. The Pontifical Mission Societies help local churches bringing the Gospel to those on the margins of human society respond to natural disasters and promote the dignity of poor people trying to build sustainable futures for their families. These Churches, located in 1,111 Mission Dioceses, are located in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, remote regions of South America, and formerly Communist countries in Europe, the parts of the world most significantly impacted by climate change.