Mass in Honor of St. Isidore
Last weekend in our adjourning parish in Pampa Ansa, Mons. Pedro celebrated a Mass in honor of St. Isidore, the Spanish farmer who died in 1130 and who is the patron of the farmers. After the Mass, the custom is for the celebrant to bless the teams of bulls that the farmer assemble before the Church. Each bull has a name and each one is especially blessed.
Learn more about mission work in the Diocese…
We have a higher mission, connected with others to share the faith — wherever they may be. Mission is at the heart of the Christian faith. The Good News of Jesus Christ must be announced, lived, and shared — from our home communities, to Third World countries, and to all places in between.
In the Diocese of Greensburg, we understand that Catholics are called to continually recommit themselves to the Church’s missionary activity through prayer, sacrifice, and action.
In his 2017 message for World Mission Day, Pope Francis reminded us, “The Church is missionary by nature; otherwise, she would no longer be the Church of Christ, but one group among many others that soon end up serving their purpose and passing away.”
And while we recognize that we can share Jesus Christ with people around the world, this Christ-given mission also can take place in our own backyards.
Recognizing that every human being needs to experience Christ’s message of love and mercy, we provide many opportunities in the Diocese to realize this mission.
Additional information and resources for The Society of the Propagation of the Faith can be found at www.missio.org.
MCA International Bulletin
The most recent newsletter from the MCA International General Secretariat (October 2022) has been received from Sister Roberta Tremarelli, AMSS, Secretary General of the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) in Rome.
This issue features “voices of children” in the Missions, including from Myanmar, Albania, Nicaragua, and Uganda.
The Pontifical Mission Societies of the Diocese of Greensburg, responding to the church document “Mission Ad Gentes,” continues to vigorously pursue its role in the evangelization of peoples. This is accomplished through educational programs, appeals from workers in the mission fields, and the charism of prayer. Together we bring forth the kingdom of God.
More than a decade after her death, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, known as the “Saint of the Gutters” for her work with the poor, still inspires the faithful to dedicate their lives to serving others. “In her, we perceive the urgency to put oneself in a state of service, especially for the poorest and most forgotten, the last of the last,” said then Pope John Paul II, October 19, 2003, during the beatification of the beloved Nobel Prize-winning nun, who died in 1997 at the age of 87.
Today, the sisters and brothers of Mother Teresa’s order, the Missionaries of Charity, founded in 1950, continue her work in the slums of Calcutta, India, and around the world.
The conversion of a disciple’s heart leads
that heart to become close to the needs of
our loved ones, especially those many poor
faces around us. Pauline was committed to
the sick, abandoned children, street children
and those born from prostitution. At the
same time, she was concerned with helping
the poor in mission countries and she
established work with inspiration from
heaven: the propagation of the faith.
Fulton J. Sheen
Evangelization was a gift for Archbishop
Fulton J. Sheen, one of the best “spokesmen” the Catholic Church has ever had. He spread the word to the Masses via a national radio broadcast beginning in 1930, and, later, a weekly prime-time television program that reached millions. Archbishop Sheen was Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1950 to 1966, when he was named Bishop of Rochester, N.Y.
“Everything that you have so tirelessly accomplished in the past, by deed and by the spoken word, to feed Christ’s flock has won for you universal acclaim. We now nourish the fond hope that in the future you will vigorously undertake even greater things,” said then Pope Paul VI, in a 1966 letter appointing him to the post.
2019-20 MCA Christmas Artwork Contest
How to Help
The Mission Office encourages individuals of all ages to dedicate time, talent and treasure to the local and world missions.
Each month, the Mission Office receives more than 100 requests from missionaries, schools and religious communities locally and from around the world. The office reviews each request and, if able, extends assistance. Funds come from the people of the diocese, the Mission Cooperative Program and collections held throughout the year.
The Ligonier-based Rich in Mercy Mission Institute works to meet the material and spiritual needs of the poor in Haiti. The Institute sponsors “reverse mission” pilgrimages and support in the form of medicine, medical and school supplies, and other goods to clinics, schools and orphanages, as well as grants for educational scholarships and sustainable development projects.
Rendu Services, based in Dunbar, provides services to needy people in Fayette County, including a mobile health van, parish nursing and a monthly food bank. Rendu Services also partners with the Fayette County Housing Authority to provide an after-school program and educational and recreational activities for children, educational and recreational programs for adults, and health and recreational programs for families.
The Mission Office also assists seminarians from mission-funded dioceses attending Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe. The seminary is the fourth oldest Catholic seminary in the United States, shaped by the Benedictine heritage of liturgical prayer, study, hospitality and community.
Catholic Volunteer Network, established in 1963, is a non-profit membership organization of 215 domestic and international volunteer and lay mission programs. They foster and promote full-time domestic and international faith-based volunteer service opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skills. As the leading membership organization of Christian volunteer and mission programs, we support and enhance the work of our members through volunteer recruitment, training and resources, networking opportunities, and advocacy.
Partners in Progress (PIP) is a national, Pennsylvania-based, non-profit corporation founded in 1999 by members of the Pittsburgh Regional Haiti Solidarity Committee. Their mission is to partner with rural-based organizations in Haiti to strengthen and build cultural, economic, natural resource and social assets for sustainable community development.
Get Involved in Mission Work Resources
A Simple House
|Our motto is to wonderfully and radically fall upon the cross of Christ for grace and support. A Simple House began in Washington, DC in 2003, and in 2009, a house was founded in Kansas City, MO.||VIEW|
|Catholic Relief Services (CRS)||Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve World War II survivors in Europe. Since then, we have expanded in size to reach more than almost 100 million people in 93 countries on five continents.||VIEW|
|Holy Childhood Association (HCA)||The Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) offers young Catholics and their families opportunities to|
make those daily connections.
|Lay Mission Helpers||Millions of people need education, healthcare, and support. Together we are doing something about it. Lay Mission-Helpers serve in a variety of different professions and strive to live a simple life in solidarity with the poor.|
From Our Diocese
Karen Hunka, a diocesan resident and parishioner from St. Florian Parish, United, writes about her experiences as a Lay Mission-Helper. While writing her blog in Ghana, Africa, she proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Mission Santa Maria
|Mission Santa Maria is a U.S.-based non-profit organization helping children and youth in Ecuador. We have been raising money in the United States since 2007.||VIEW|
|Prosan Catholic Radio Program||Prosan is a registered non-profit organization located in Lima, Perú that produces and distributes evangelization human development radio programs in Spanish and Quechua for the Catholic Church in Latin America.||VIEW|
|The Society for the Propagation of the Faith (SPOF)||Founded by the Venerable Pauline Jaricot, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith seeks prayer and sacrifice for the world’s Missions, now some 1,150 dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and remote regions of Latin America.||VIEW|
|United States Catholic Mission Association (USCMA)||The United States Catholic Mission Association (USCMA) is the only association of U.S. Catholic mission-sending and mission-minded organizations and individuals. USCMA supports the activities and efforts of U.S.-based home and international missionary groups by providing opportunities for these groups to gather, share, and learn from one another.||VIEW|
Mission Cooperation Plan
The Mission Cooperation Plan directs missionaries into parishes across our Diocese once a year to describe the conditions of their country and solicit funds for particular needs. Through this plan, 27-30 missionary groups visit our parish communities. Those who visit the parishes are selected by the diocesan Director of the Mission Office from a pool of hundreds of requests. The money collected is then forwarded to the specific group through the Mission Office.
Our Response to Mission Work Questions
Many individuals have questions surrounding missionary work, the Pontifical Mission Societies, or where their money actually goes once they decide to make a contribution to a cause or appeal. Some of our responses to the top questions we receive are listed below. If you have an additional question that we might be able to assist you with, please don’t hesitate to contact our diocesan Mission Office directly at 724-837-0901.
Click on a question to view the answer
Question : A priest from India just visited my parish during his homily. He asked for help for his diocese. Does the money I offer during this special collection get sent to the Pontifical Mission Societies?
Very often, priests and religious visit the United States to seek prayer and financial support for the work of their dioceses or religious communities in the missions. These parish appeals are coordinated in dioceses by the Pontifical Mission Societies director as part of the Missionary Cooperation Plan. The money collected in parishes in response to such visits is given directly to the missionaries for use in their dioceses or by their congregations.
Question : How are my donations distributed to the missions?
Offerings from Catholics in the United States are combined with offerings to the Propagation of the Faith from Catholics worldwide. Mission dioceses receive regular annual assistance from the funds collected. These grants are provided according to a diocese’s size.
In addition, mission dioceses submit requests to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples for assistance for, among other needs, catechetical programs, seminaries, the work of religious communities, communication and transportation needs, and the building of chapels and churches.
These needs are then matched with the funds gathered each year. The world’s national directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies vote on these requests, matching the funds available with the greatest of needs for help. Funds are then distributed to mission dioceses throughout the world, directly from the country in which that help was raised.
Question : How can I get someone to speak to our school or group about missions?
Contact the Mission Office first, not the missionary. We also work in conjunction with the Passionist Missionaries in Pittsburgh.
Question : How can I help the missions of the world through the Pontifical Mission Societies?
All baptized Catholics have the opportunity to participate in the worldwide mission of the church by offering prayers, personal sacrifices or financial contributions to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association or the Society for St. Peter Apostle.
The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious is a spiritual apostolate for priests, religious, catechists and lay people. Each year, the celebration of World Mission Sunday provides an opportunity, within the context of the Eucharist, for Catholics to express their prayerful and financial support of the church’s worldwide missionary work and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in particular.
Question : Our parish has a special relationship with another parish in the developing world. I help to support this relationship through financial contributions and volunteer work. Do I still need to support the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies?
Forms of direct cooperation between churches, also called “twinning,” can be of great benefit to a parish in the developing world and provide parishioners of the “sister” church in the United States with great spiritual fulfillment.
This one-on-one relationship works best to the degree that it broadens the vision of Catholics here to see the universal needs of the mission church. Care should be taken not to limit one’s range of action to one objective so as to safeguard the principal of universal equity in the distribution of funds.
Question : What are the Pontifical Mission Societies?
The Pontifical Mission Societies consist of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious.
Question : What do these organizations do?
The Pontifical Mission Societies have, as their primary purpose, the promotion of a universal missionary spirit — a spirit of prayer and sacrifice — among all baptized Catholics.
The first three societies, in carrying out that goal, invite baptized Catholics to express their missionary commitment by offering their prayers, personal sacrifices and financial support for the work of the church in the missions.
The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious works to deepen mission awareness among priests, men and women religious, catechists and educators so that they are fully prepared to take on the mission formation of the faithful.
Question : What does the term “pontifical” mean?
The four societies each received the title “pontifical” in 1922 to indicate their status as official instruments of the Holy Father and of the universal Catholic Church.
Question : What is World Mission Sunday?
World Mission Sunday, celebrated the next-to-last Sunday of October, is a day set aside for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the church’s missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice. Offerings are distributed to mission dioceses.
Question : 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 societies are both pontifical and episcopal in nature.
And, as such, the societies are recognized as the principal instruments 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.
Question : Where are the Pontifical Mission Societies located?
The societies have national offices in more than 120 countries around the world. Central administrative offices are in Rome, Italy, under the direction of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The national office in the United States is in New York City.
Every diocese in the United States has a diocesan director who is appointed by the bishop of that diocese.