PONTIFICAL SOCIETY OF MISSIONARY CHILDHOOD
In the Roman Catholic Church exists the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood , also referred to as Holy Childhood. It is Pontifical because the Pope is its guide and it exists and serves as a special Organization of the universal Church.
The Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood is the only organization in the Church that focuses exclusively on children from 0 to 14 years of age. It facilitates children’s missionary animation, missionary formation and missionary co-operation or communion as envisaged by its founder.
The Missionary Childhood Association, was founded in France in 1843, by Bishop Charles Forbin-Janson. In a conversation with his friend, a laywoman named Pauline Jaricot, who had founded the Society for the Propogation of the Faith, he expressed his dream “to help the children of the Missions.” Bishop Forbin –Janson “was convinced that though weak and needing care, children rich in faith and love were capable of playing their own part in the Church’s mission and of even stirring adults to the same generous missionary spirit.” His invitation to the children of France was “to reach out-in faith and love-to help the children of the Missions of France and China.” This year, 2014, the Association celebrates 171 years of service and is active in more than 110 countries in the world.
Throughout the Catholic world, Bishop Forbin-Janson’s vision of “Children Helping Children” continues. This has become the motto of the Missionary Childhood Association. Through this Association, children learn about the various “needs of the world’s poorest children and are invited to pray and to offer financial help, so that children in the Missions today may know Christ and experience His love and care.
Every year, children in our Catholic Schools and Parishes and all parishioners of our various Dioceses, are invited to contribute to the mission among children through a special collection for Missionary Childhood. This will be done on November 30th 2014, in our Diocese. The offerings collected form part of a solidarity fund, from which money is sent to finance approximately three thousand (3000) projects to enhance the life and formation of children in a little more than 1000 dioceses in the world, including our Diocese.
The Diocese of Roseau and Dominica by extension benefit from the prayers and financial offerings of the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood. Every year, a number of projects submitted by our Parishes, Catechetical Centre, Social Centre and Catholic Schools are approved and significant amounts of money sent, to develop our various institutions that care for children, not only of the Catholic faith but all children in Catholic institutions.
Last year and this year, the generosity of children of the Missionary Childhood Association made possible
• an extension to the Holy Spirit Chapel in Loubiere
• the construction of a new roof for the St. Martin Secondary School Food Lab.
• the construction of an outdoor flight of stairs at the Convent Preparatory School
• the construction of the St. Martin Primary Kindergarten building
• the construction of a water trough and fencing of a section of the St. John’s School compound
• the refurbishment of the St. Mary’s Primary School toilets
• sponsorship of the Diocesan Catechetical Programmes
• Programmes at the St. Ann’s Nursery and Social Centre Model Pre-School among others.
Millions of children share generously with us. Our children are invited to do the same : to pray for the Missions and missionaries and offer financial help to better the lives of children throughout the world.
May St. Theresa of Liseux, the patroness of the Missions intercede for the children of our Diocese and children throughout the world. St. Theresa joined the Holy Childhood Association at the age of 7 years and became a very vibrant Missionary.
Let us thank the Lord for our first group of Consecrated Members.