I am often drawn to those who are in the process of moving through the steps to Canonization (the process of becoming a saint) – I call them saints-in-waiting. World Mission Sunday brings two of them to the forefront: Pauline Jaricot and Archbishop Fulton Sheen. 200 years ago, Pauline Jaricot founded the Propagation of the Faith, the organization that promotes World Mission Sunday. She was also the catalyst behind St. Philomena being canonized – look up their story! The second saint-in-waiting is Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the host of “Life Is Worth Living” on TV. He taught the Catholic Faith on television! And he had flare! He won an Academy Award for Most Outstanding Personality in 1952! Crazy, huh?! Well, he was also in charge of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith for 16 years and was very successful promoting the need to serve others across the world. That is what we are focusing on this weekend. He also created the Mission Rosary – once you’ve prayed it, you’ve prayed for the whole world.
We often hear about missions and missionaries, but do you ever think about how YOU fit into the scheme of things? ALL OF US are called, by our Baptism, to be missionaries. There are different ways to live that out: to go, to promote, to work locally, to pray, to give financially…what is God asking of YOU? This year’s theme is “You Shall Be My Witnesses” (Acts 1:8). Pope Francis asks us to consider the missionary journey of the whole Church. How do you and I fit into that overall plan? Some of us can go on short-term missions, some can uproot and go for years. But what about the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society or Sharing & Caring Hands? What of the Kidz Closet, the Food Shelf, or the Quilters? All these and more are local outreaches that meet the needs of others. Do you have a tug on your heart to build churches or feed children? Find the missions that do that – two of them are represented here at SJB – Building Bridges Liberia and Mary’s Meals. They will have tables up this weekend in the Plaza, stop by and learn about them.