One Family in Mission
The diocesan Missions Office promotes the missionary life of the Church and serves as the diocesan center for mission animation, education and awareness.
The office represents the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, which include the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These programs fall directly under the authority of the Holy Father in Rome. Their primary purpose is the promotion of a universal missionary spirit – a spirit of prayer and sacrifice – among all baptized Catholics.
World Mission Sunday
World Mission Sunday is celebrated in every parish throughout the world on the next-to-last Sunday in October. The Pontifical Mission Societies provide for a global network of people who are making the difference for the poor and forgotten. This worldwide liturgical celebration is the only annual appeal of this nature.
Approximately 1,150 mission dioceses receive annual subsidies from the Propagation of the Faith’s General Fund for their ordinary operations. These funds form the “lifeblood” of mission dioceses, as they are the monies used to finance the needs of the mission Church throughout the world. The funds are destined for mission lands, the vast majority of which are located in Africa and Asia.Give online through the diocese
Pontifical Mission Societies
What are they?
The Pontifical Mission Societies consist of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious.
What do they 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.
Every other year between January 1 and September 30, parishes in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are expected to host a speaker from a mission congregation, lay mission organization, or mission diocese. This is the Missionary Cooperation Plan (MCP) of the United States Catholic Church. The two‑fold purpose of the plan is to provide opportunities for appeals for prayer and financial support from Catholics of the United States; and to be educated about what is happening in the mission field around the world today.
Each year well over 100 applications are received for approximately 15 spots. In order to be considered for the following year, the deadline for all applicants is November 30. This policy applies to all groups, with the exception of Catholic Relief Services and authorized twinning relationships, who desire access to parishes for direct or indirect support for their overseas missionary/aid ministries.
For information about application deadlines and how to apply, contact Father Stephen Dudek.
Many parishes in our diocese have developed formal twinning relationshipswith other ecclesial communities throughout the world. These partnerships are excellent ways to promote mutuality and solidarity and are based in a very specific solidarity-based Parish Partnership model drawn from the extensive worldwide experience of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) which insists on:
- Emphasizing relationships over resources
Practicing mutuality and equality
Seeking to give and receive, learn and teach
Working to change unjust systems and structures
Deepening our faith by experiencing the universal Catholic Church