Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 23, 2006
Archdiocesan council promotes mission activities
Local group make clear Christian duty to spread the Good News
By JULIEN HAMMOND
Special to the WCR
For the past 30 years, the Edmonton Archdiocese has relied on the Archdiocesan Mission Council to help it "promote, direct and coordinate endeavours and works pertaining to missionary action" locally.
The council began as an ad hoc committee of the Priests' Council in 1976 with Holy Cross Father Paul Kingston taking up the chair. He was replaced 1979-84 by Father Bert O'Brien. Since 1984, mission activity in the archdiocese has been headed up by Spiritan Father Michael Troy.
With the appointment of Troy as director of the Pontifical Mission-Aid societies, the archdiocese entered a new era of missions involvement, away from direct parish and missionary assistance, toward promoting the work of the four Pontifical Mission Societies in the archdiocese. These four societies are:
Society for the Propagation of the Faith: This society assists each and every one of the Catholic Church's 1,069 mission dioceses and territories to provide pastoral care and preach the Gospel effectively. Crucial to this is the educating of catechists, the missionary formation of youth and the missionary dimension of the family. One of the most beautiful fruits of this society is World Mission Day celebrated annually on the second to last Sunday of October.
Holy Childhood Association: Under the motto, "Children Helping Children," the Holy Childhood Association encourages children of elementary school age in developed countries to have a concern for same-aged children in developing countries around the world.
HCA activities include prayer, learning activities and fundraising. The archdiocese celebrates a special Holy Childhood Mass every year on the first Wednesday of May.
This Mass brings together more than 1,000 school children and their teachers from the various school districts of the archdiocese, who have been involved in HCA activities in their schools and parishes, to celebrate their involvement in the Holy Childhood Association with the archbishop.
The HCA Mass is certainly one highlight of the Mission Council's year.
Society of St. Peter the Apostle: This society assists by prayer and finances bishops in developing and missionary countries to provide and educate their seminarians, priests, religious brothers and sisters. The support promoted by this society is not purely economic, but is rooted in prayer and in a life inspired by faith.
Pontifical Missionary Union: Through various publications, the Pontifical Missionary Union stimulates a serious interest in missions among priests, religious and laity. It animates the People of God by making clear their missionary duty; it is a spiritual force aimed at the spread of the Gospel.
In addition to these four Pontifical Missions Societies, the Archdiocesan Mission Council also has an enduring concern for the Catholic Missions in Canada (formerly known as the Catholic Church Extension Society of Canada).
This organization seeks to foster and extend the blessings of the Catholic faith through the support of Canadian missions in regions of our country where the population is too small, or the economic situation of the community is too fragile for the people themselves to support their local Church and its ministry.
Through the work of the Archdiocesan Mission Council, the Edmonton Archdiocese is able to fulfill the mandate given to the Church by Christ to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28.19-20).
(For more information about the Archdiocesan Mission Council or to get involved in the work of the council, please call Julien Hammond, director of pastoral services, at 469-1010.)