Sr. Antoinette holds the banner
Srs. Antoinette & Nellie at FMSA Stall
Much is happening in the Archdiocese of Boston this year. The Archdiocese is celebrating its Bicentennial Year. On July 25th the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle celebrated 50 years of service to the Missions and on 26th July the work of the Archdiocese of Boston Missionary Alliance of Orders and Societies was launched with The Festival of Nations.
The Missionary Society of St. James was founded by Cardinal Cushing who was well known for his love for the poor. Since its inception the Society has sent over 300 priests to countries like Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. The Society also helped to train many local people for ministry. This is no small achievement. In planning for the future, the Society will embrace the collaborative ministry of priests, deacons and lay people.
The Festival of Nations is well described in friends1 and I quote:
" ...St. Stephen's Church was decorated with national flags hanging from the gallery. The celebration began with a march of the missionaries from St. Leonard's to the Church on the feast of St. James. The following day's program consisted of the participation of various choirs, and a display of photographs and some fair trade products from various missionary countries throughout the world. The day ended with a concelebrated Mass, with Bishop Robert Hennessey the principal celebrant.
Throughout the 200 years of the history of the Archdiocese of Boston hundreds of men and women left these shores to proclaim the good news of the gospel. Their work has bourn fruit and now migrant Catholic peoples of many nations are coming to Boston to strengthen the local church. The gospel has now become enculturated in their native language and customs. The first reading was read in Bangladeshi with the provision of a written translation of the text in English. Everyone agreed that the cultural highlights were the offertory, the post communion liturgical dances provided by the women. Among the gifts presented at the offertory was a piece of broken sculpture from a church in Nagasaki.
The principal message of this Festival of Nations is that we belong to the same family of God, and it is the same Spirit as the first Pentecost that unites us all in one great Catholic family. It's only on occasions such as this, that one becomes aware of our unity and richness in diversity."
Those who know the history of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa will be aware of the debt of gratitude we owe to Richard Cardinal Cushing of Boston who so generously brought our Congregation into the Archdiocese in our early years as an autonomous missionary congregation. The people of the Archdiocese of Boston, and indeed of the United States, have continued to support us with great generosity as together we continue on mission.
We take this opportunity to congratulate the Archdiocese of Boston on its Bicentennial year and to thank you for walking with us. We congratulate the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle on their Golden Jubilee and welcome the launch of the work of the Archdiocese of Boston Missionary Alliance of Orders and Society.
We share with you the prayer of the World Missionary Alliance in the Archdiocese of Boston.
All loving and gracious God, we thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ.
For two hundred years you have called forth disciples
who journed to birth and nurture and Archdiocese of Boston.
Early in our history missionaries were sent to
Latin America, Africa, Asia and other parts of the world
in obedience to the words of Jesus, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mt. 28:19-20).
Those who were served by missionaries
from this Archdiocese in far flung places of the world,
now come to serve here, bringing the rich grace of
many cultures and traditions home
through the power of your spirit.
May we continue to strengthen and renew
the mission of Christ to the world from the
Archdiocese of Boston, in union with our Bishop,
through the culturally diverse communities that make up our Church,
in order to share the hope of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
1. friends, a publication of The Missionary society of St. James the Apostle, August, 2008