Because of our shared baptism, each of us is called to share the Good News every day, making us all missionaries, no matter our age. Mission education must be an ongoing part of our children’s faith formation, whether they attend a Catholic School or a parish Faith Formation program.
The Missionary Childhood Association (MCA), which funds projects in the missions for children under 14, is happy to help make this a reality. As a key part of our program, each school or parish is asked to appoint a Mission Moderator – a teacher or volunteer adult – who will coordinate the mission programs. They receive monthly e-newsletters with a prayer service, lesson plans about saints and MCA’s work in mission countries, and hands on student activities for home or classroom.
The Mission Moderator appoints student Representatives to distribute materials, hang posters, and create mission-themed bulletin boards. They may also lead other students in prayer for the missions.
Although the MCA program of having a Mission Moderator has proven successful in many (Arch)dioceses, Darci Hamman, of Our Lady’s Academy in Waltham could be the “poster child” for the position! Always cheerful, Darci is committed to helping her students develop into well-rounded, faith-filled young people. Charity towards others is at the heart of who she is.
With the support of her principal, Ms. Minor, and pastor, Fr. DiPerri, Darci makes sure that the mission programs run smoothly. A visit from Missionary Childhood is a yearly fixture during Catholic Schools Week and students prayerfully sacrifice for their mission brothers and sisters during Lent.
Even a pandemic couldn’t change this!
First, students virtually attended our Mission Education Day in October. In January, I Zoomed into classrooms to speak about MCA supported work in Quito, Ecuador. Students learned about Ecuadorian children, no older than themselves, who work for a living as shoeshine boys, sidewalk sweepers, and errand girls. Most are orphans and depend on each other for any kind of “family” bond. Local missionaries visit these children at night bringing hot meals, basic literacy instruction, and most importantly, the knowledge that God loves them.
Then, Mite Boxes, mission banks named for the Widow’s Mite, are distributed by Ash Wednesday. Unable to hold our normal Holy Week Mite Box collection assembly, class representatives came to Darci one by one to present their grades’ sacrifices.
The young missionaries of Our Lady’s Academy offered 50% more than they did last year to help children in the missions!
Help the missions and volunteer to be your school or parish’s Mission Moderator. The rewards are tremendous. Just ask Darci!
-Maureen Crowley Heil
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