MISSIO is the Catholic Church’s official charity for overseas mission. APF, the Association for Propagation of the Faith was founded in Lyons, France by a young lay-woman, Pauline Jaricot, who persuaded local working people to support the missions by their prayers and by giving a farthing a week. A century later, the APF became the official mission fund-raising society for the Church. It is now a worldwide organisation, which as part of MISSIO since 1936, has worked in partnership with the Mill Hill Missionaries of St Joseph’s Missionary Society. The Society was founded at Mill Hill, London, in 1866 by Father Herbert Vaughan, later Cardinal Vaughan, Archbishop of Westminster. Mill Hill Missionaries work in 27 countries and on every continent. Our organiser for the Salford Diocese is Father Jan Klaver, Mill Hill Missionary.
Funds which are collected for the missions by means of the Red Mission Boxes and annual membership donations, go directly to support priests and parishes in the poorest parts of the world. Projects include the training of priests, sisters and catechists, also building churches, schools and hospitals, and providing education and health programmes. Missionaries work to promote reconciliation and a culture of peace.
MISSIO publishes “Mission Today” magazine three times each year plus a calendar. Prayer is the foundation for all missionary work. The magazine gives the Pope’s mission intentions for each month. In March each year, all are invited to join in a Novena, in preparation for the feast of St Joseph, the Patron of the Mill Hill Missionary Society, on March 19th. An Annual Diocesan Mission Mass is celebrated during the summer, usually at Salford Cathedral and is followed by a social gathering. All are welcome to attend.
Collectors (promoters) visit MISSIO members to empty the Red Mission Boxes between 2 and 4 times each year. Members at St Thomas of Canterbury who do not have a designated collector are asked to bring their collection to church and to place it in the Offertory Basket at Mass, or leave it in the sacristy. Special brown envelopes for this purpose are provided. Mission Today magazines and calendars are available at both St Joseph’s and St Thomas of Canterbury. Dates of the two Brown Envelope Collections are given in the Parish Newsletter. Brown envelopes need to be securely sealed and clearly labelled with the member’s name and address. Gift-Aid can be applied to all APF-MILL HILL donations, resulting in a 25% increase for the missions, at no extra cost to the donor. The total amount collected each quarter and the yearly total, including annual/direct members’ donations for St Cuthbert’s Parish are given in the Parish Newsletter.
Each year on World Mission Sunday, usually the penultimate Sunday in October, there is a retiring collection for MISSIO after each Mass.
More information about MISSIO can be found at missio.org.uk and at millhillmissionaries.co.uk
New members are always welcome. If you would like to become a member of MISSIO APF-MILL HILL, by having a Red Mission Box in your home, or by taking out an Annual Membership and for any queries regarding MISSIO APF-MILL HILL, please contact Norman Shard, St Joseph’s or Bernadette Robinson, St Thomas of Canterbury.