Blessed Pauline was born in Lyon, France in 1799 and is one of the founders of Missio, the Pope’s charity for world mission. She was a remarkable young lay woman with formidable faith. Aged 19, she began helping missionaries overseas. She decided to support them through prayer and material help, establishing a penny collection among her father’s employees: the first social missionary network.
Supporters met in small groups to donate pennies, pray and exchange news about ‘the missions’. In turn they created more groups. This network became the Propagation of the Faith in 1822. It then spread throughout the world. In England and Wales, the Red Box, in partnership with the Mill Hill Missionaries, fulfils Pauline’s vision.
The celebratory Mass took place on Saturday June 25. Bishop Alan was joined by Fr Anthony Chantry MHM, National Director for Missio in England and Wales, who preached on the ‘remarkable missionary spirit of Blessed Pauline Jaricot, who is an inspiration to us all’.
Fr Anthony shared some his own experiences of mission in South Africa and how, through prayer and the support of the Red Box, we can make a real difference to poor and young Churches throughout the world. Bishop Alan thanked the Missio Local Secretaries and volunteers for their efforts in supporting the global Church and gave encouragement to continue the faithful efforts within the East Anglia Diocese.
After Mass, Fr Kevin Hughes MHM shared some more reflections on the life of Blessed Pauline, and how she continues to inspire our own calling as baptised Catholics to spread the Good News of Christ in our communities. Anne, the Missio Local Secretary for the Cathedral parish commented, “This has been a wonderful occasion and something we can build on as a Diocesan community. Thank you Missio for coming to the Diocese to be with us.”
Missio in turn thanked volunteers who were able to join the event, despite the challenging transport situation, and the Cathedral staff for their support.
To find out more about the work of Missio, visit www.missio.org.uk and follow on social media @missiouk
Pictured above are Missio Local Secretaries with Bishop Alan Hopes, Fr Tony Chantry MHM and Fr Kevin Hughes MHM.