On Saturday, 30th October 2021 at St Joan of Arc Church, Highbury, Bishop Paul McAleenan celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for the Local Secretaries of Missio. Also present were Fr Carlos Quito, Fr Philip Baptiste, and Fr David Knight.
Although there were few present due to the ongoing, Covid-19 pandemic, Bishop Paul praised the Secretaries, acknowledging ‘their role in the universal mission of the Church’.
He reminded them that the work of promoting the Church’s mission does not necessarily mean travelling to the ends of the earth. He reminded them of St Therese of Lisieux, patroness of missionaries, who never left her convent. He said: ‘In the same way those involved in Missio participate in the only task the Church has … to make God’s love known throughout the world. The work you do in a very local setting enables the work of the Church to continue globally.’
In a time where there has been the decline of interaction and connection, the work of the Missio Local Secretaries in their promotion of the famous Red Box has changed significantly, and many donors who participate in the Red Box scheme, and even the Secretaries, are elderly. Bishop Paul lauded them for being ‘very enterprising, finding new ways to do old things’.
After Mass, Bishop Paul had an opportunity to meet with the Local Secretaries over tea and coffee at the Parish Centre.
This celebration marks the beginning of many celebrations in Missio as the cause for the beatification of the Venerable Pauline Jaricot, who founded the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the foundation for Missio, has been opened. The Society also celebrates its 200th anniversary next year.