A. Can you define some terms like:
1. Family Perpetual Membership:
$100 suggested donation for Perpetual Membership in the Society for the Propagation of the Faith for a family. Requires registration in the Perpetual Membership data base.
2. Individual Perpetual Membership:
$50 suggested donation for Perpetual Membership in the the Society for the Propagation of the Faith for an individual. Requires registration in the Perpetual Membership data base.
3. Ordinary Membership:
General donation for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith made in response to a Membership Appeal. Membership Appeals are done generally during the months of May – September. Does not require registration in the Membership data base.
4. Monthly Gifts:
Are given by donors who have expressed a desire to donate monthly to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
5. Undesignated Gifts:
Donations made to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith by donors. These gifts are not solicited by any specific appeal and are not designated for any specific purpose.
6. Mass Intentions: (Mass Stipends for Missionaries):
Are given as offerings for Masses to be said for specific intentions. These are forwarded to missionary priests to offer masses for the intentions of the donors.
7. Society of St. Peter the Apostle:
The goal of the Society of St. Peter is to support the education of candidates for the Catholic priesthood in the Developing World and to support the formation of men and women candidates for the Religious life in the Missions.
8. Designated Gifts:
Are given for a specific purpose, clearly communicated by the donor. These donations are forwarded directly to the mission/project/individual for whom they were designated. They are made through the Office for the Missions, Diocese of San Diego.
B. 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 Monsignor John E. Kozar. In addition, every diocese in the United States has a diocesan director who is appointed by the local ordinary (bishop) of that diocese.
C. 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.
D. 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 their 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 men and women, 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.
E. How are my donations distributed to the Missions?
Offerings from Catholics in the United are combined with offerings to the Propagation of the Faith from Catholics worldwide. Mission dioceses receive regular annual assistance from the funds collected. This grant of help is provided according to a diocese's size. In addition, these 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 in 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. These funds are then distributed to mission dioceses throughout the world, directly from the country in which that help was raised. All of the General Fund of support is distributed in its entirety each year.
Has a "cause for sainthood" been established for Pauline Jarioct? In 1962, 100 years after her death, Pope John XXIII signed the decree that proclaimed the virtues of Pauline Marie Jaricot declaring her “venerable.” Pope John wrote: “It was she who thought of the society, who conceived it, and made it an organized reality.”
F. How does HCA differ from other organizations helping children in the Developing World?
HCA is unique to other organizations that assist children in the Developing World in that its primary aim is to encourage children to share their faith with children in the Developing World through their prayers, personal sacrifices and financial offerings.
G. Does HCA help only Catholic children?
HCA cares for children regardless of their religious affiliation.
Why doesn't HCA participate in sponsoring individual children or families?
Contributions to HCA are allocated to mission dioceses throughout the world according to need. This system of allocating funds helps ensure that aid is distributed fairly and that those who are most desperately in need receive enough support. HCA funds are distributed to help children in 110 countries throughout the world.
H. I hear that vocations are growing in the Missions.
How many seminarians does the Society of St. Peter Apostle support?
Currently, more than 30,000 major seminarians in some 400 seminaries receive help from St. Peter Apostle. In addition, close to 10,000 men and women Religious novices receive assistance.
I. How can I help the Society of St. Peter Apostle?
You can offer your prayers and personal sacrifices for the growth of mission vocations. You can also help young men as they prepare for the priesthood through the Society of St. Peter Apostle with a donation of $700 for a year of studies. A gift of $300 will help toward the formation of men and women novices preparing for a life of service as Religious Brothers and Sisters. You may also want to remember the Society of St. Peter Apostle when writing or changing your Will.
J. I would like to serve as a lay missionary. What should I do?
There are a number of local and national organizations that help “connect” lay Catholics to mission opportunities in the United States and abroad. Contact your diocesan mission office for more information or contact the Catholic Network of Volunteer Service (CNVS). Catholic Network of Volunteer Service promotes opportunities for men and women of all backgrounds and skills to respond to the Gospel through domestic and international volunteer service to people in need. CNVS connects volunteers and missioners with more than 200 faith-based programs offering more than 10,000 full-time volunteer placements throughout the U.S. and in over 115 countries.
K. Once ordained, where do these priests serve?
Very often, priests ordained in the Missions will serve in the very dioceses where they were born and raised. Others are asked by the ordinary (bishop) of their dioceses to serve in other areas of their native countries or in other dioceses throughout the world — even in the United States.
L. Can I make a financial contribution toward the work of the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious?
The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious is a spiritual apostolate, collecting no money. However, if you would like to help support the Missions with a financial gift, you may make an offering to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, The Society of St. Peter Apostle or the Holy Childhood Association.
M. 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?
Yes! 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.
N. 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 men and women visit the United States (often in the summer months) 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 your parish in response to such a visit / appeal is given directly to the missionary for use in his / her diocese or by his / her Religious Congregation. This help would be in addition to any help offered by the Pontifical Mission Societies themselves, which is sometimes the case, particularly for a mission diocese.
O. Why does it cost more to educate a seminarian than a Religious novice?
Seminarians typically spend a greater length of time studying for the priesthood than a religous brother or sister would spend in a spiritual formation program. A greater length of study requires a seminary to provide additional textbooks, classroom supplies as well as room and board for that period of time.
P. May I sponsor an individual seminarian or novice through the Society of St. Peter Apostle?
Contributions to the Society of St. Peter Apostle are allocated to seminaries and seminarians in mission dioceses throughout the world according to need, with certain help offered to each seminary by the number of students there. This system of allocating funds helps ensure that aid is distributed fairly and that those who are most desperately in need receive enough support.
Q. What is the purpose of the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious?
The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious is a spiritual apostolate. Unlike the other three Pontifical Mission Societies, this mission society family member does not collect or distribute funds. Its purpose is to educate and inspire priests, Religious men and women, pastoral leaders and those responsible for catechesis and religious education so that they may better animate others to share their faith and to be missionaries themselves, supporting also the missionary work of the Church worldwide.
R. Could you give me an example of some of the types of activities conducted on behalf of the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious?
In dioceses throughout the United States, Diocesan Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, as well as others engaged in the work of the Church, help “animate the animators” so they can tell others about the mission of Jesus Christ.
S. How can I further my personal spiritual commitment to the Church’s universal mission?
If you are a lay person, you can deepen your commitment to the missionary work of the church by offering your prayers and personal sacrifices for the Missions and for missionaries. In addition, the Pontifical Mission Societies offers several publications on mission spirituality for lay people. In addition, you may speak to your pastor or diocesan director of the Pontifical Mission Societies about activities, discussions or pilgrimages in your area designed to animate baptized Catholics to the missionary work of the Church.If you are a priest, seminarian, Religious Brother / Sister or catechist, contact your diocesan director of the Pontifical Mission Societies about mission education programs available in your area.
The Pontifical Mission Societies
Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director
70 West 36th Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Phone 212-563-8700 Fax 212-563-8725