We hope that the New Year has been treating you well. Here at the USCMA office we are glad to welcome our new interns, Chris and Rhiannon, who will be working with us this semester. Barbara Wheeler, USCMA’s Development Coordinator, is on her first short-term mission trip to Honduras led by Dr. Mike Gable, Director of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Mission Office and USCMA Board member.
We are also excited to be working on several projects that will take place this year including the Mission Handbook and the 2015 Mission Congress in Houston, TX. The USCMA Board of Directors is also working on the association's next Strategic Plan and have asked members for their thoughts about the work we do as association. If you are a member of USCMA and you have not received the online survey, please contact us and we will send it to you.
We hope you enjoy this January edition of the Mission Monthly.
The USCMA Staff
USCMA Welcomes New Interns
Chris Fontaine and Rhiannon Richards Join USCMA's Internship Program
This month the USCMA office welcomed two new interns, Chris Fontaine and Rhiannon Richards.We are grateful to have both Chris and Rhiannon helping us with several projects including the Mission Congress, Social Media outreach, and Mission education and research.
is currently a senior Theology major at the Catholic University of America. She has joined the USCMA staff as an intern to assist with projects relating to the upcoming Mission Congress and Faces of Mission blog posts. She hopes to work in Catholic publication and loves to write. Chris has had a love for mission throughout her college career and has served most recently in Kingston, Jamaica and Prescott, Arizona.
is a junior Theology major at the Catholic University of America. Having become Catholic only three years ago, she is excited to learn more about the Church and its mission activities during her internship at USCMA. She has done some mission work, including at World Youth Day Rio 2013, and she plans to do long-term mission work after college. Her hobbies include reading, hiking, and traveling.
Malawi on its Knees Due to the Damage Caused by Cyclones
Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - "Cyclones of the Mozambique Channel have brought devastation in Malawi", writes to Agenzia Fides Fr. Piergiorgio Gamba, Monfortan missionary who for decades has lived and worked in Malawi. "In addition to hundreds of deaths, many people are forced to leave their villages, which in the south have been literally covered with water. Cyclones have ended, now it is the normal rainy season. Fields, already soaked with water form marshes that cover everything. It is difficult to predict whether there will be a harvest this year".
The logistical challenges are huge and it will take a very long time before daily life, even in poverty, goes back to normality. Electricity is rationed across the country, because different plants are completely clogged by debris dragged to the grids of water intake on the Shire River. The fear of epidemics is high. The country has no tablets to purify water and cases of typhoid and cholera are reported in various villages.
Gamba noted that Malawi needs aid from donor Countries, still blocked because of "cashgate", the embezzlement of funds from abroad (see Fides 06/12/2014
). The missionary describes what his community does to help people affected by the floods "We have collected food and clothing to be distributed. Houses are made of bricks dried in the sun and therefore are not waterproof like red bricks". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/01/2015)
Missionary Training in Brazil
Missionaries Study "Concentration and Manipulation of the Media"
Bacabal (Agenzia Fides) - More than 50 leaders of dioceses in the Northeast Region of Brazil (called by the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil as "RN5"), which covers the state of Maranhão, are participating in the 23rd edition of the Missionary Training Course. The workshop is sponsored by the Regional Missionary Council (COMIRE), in collaboration with the Franciscan Center for Missionary Animation (CEFRAM) and has the support of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Brazil (PMS). The Course, held at CEFRAM in the city of Bacabal, started on 16 January and will end on 30 January.
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, the central theme of the Course, led by Fr. Jaime Carlos Patias, IMC, National Secretary of the Pontifical Missionary Union, is "Communication and Mission". Besides analyzing concentration and manipulation of the media, the Course emphasized the importance of communication and its new tools for evangelization in the world today, and the organization of the missionary dimension of the Church in Brazil. The program also includes five workshops: communication and missionary animation; digital networks like environment; alternative communication; Pastoral Communications (PasCom); how to use the media. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 28/01/2015)
Scalabrini Missionaries Open a Community in Syracuse to Welcome Migrants
Syracuse (Agenzia Fides) - A new missionary community has been opened in Syracuse to welcome migrants who land in Sicily and the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, Scalabrinians have the first three sisters who will give their support and assistance. According to information sent to Agenzia Fides we are talking about: Brazilian Sister Teresinha Santin and Sister Ivanir Filipi and Albanian Sister Gjeline Preci. "A heartfelt response to the call of Pope Francis to 'open convents to refugees, flesh of Christ' - explain Sister Neusa de Fátima Mariano, Superior General, and Sister Milva Caro, head of the St. Joseph Province/Europe -. A sign of pastoral charity of the Congregation in the year of the beatification of Mother Cofounder Assunta Marchetti. It will be a missionary presence to be 'lived' in the local church, with the people of Syracuse and with migrants in order for them to live with dignity". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 23/01/2015)
Message of Solidarity from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples to the Church of Niger
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, sent a message of sympathy and solidarity to pastoral workers and to the faithful of the Catholic Church in Niger after the last serious incidents of violence against churches and convents which were set on fire and where a dozen people died.
"The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples learned with deep sadness about the systematic looting against Christian churches, especially Catholic ones, in your country" is what is written in the message.
"The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, in front of the huge losses and the desolation caused by the events of these days, wants to express its spiritual closeness, communion and solidarity.
The Congregation assures you its prayers for the victims of this violence and for their families. In addition, it launches an appeal to the political, civil and military authorities, so that through dialogue peace may be restored, and to put a permanent end to the violence against Christians".
The message concludes by recalling the words of the Holy Father Francis, "you cannot possibly cause death and suffering in the name of God, nor justify the violation of fundamental freedoms of the human person". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 21/01/2015)
USCMA Staff and Contact Information
Rev. John R. Nuelle, M.S., Executive Director
Stephen F. Scott, MTS, Associate Director
Barbara Wheeler, Development Coordinator
Mary Nguyen, Accountant and Administrative Assistant
United States Catholic Mission Association
3025 Fourth St. NE, Ste. 100
Washington, DC 20017-1103
T: (202) 832-3112
F: (202) 832-3688