“Making a Difference in the Lives of Children”
The Missionary Childhood Association (MCA), formerly known as the Holy Childhood Association is one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies active in some 110 countries throughout the world. Founded in 1843 by Bishop Charles de Forbin-Jason, MCA helps to animate the young faithful to a universal missionary spirit and to gather support for the local churches of Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and remote regions of Latin America for the Church’s service among children.
With a distinct focus entirely on children, MCA serves the Church worldwide:
- Spreads the Good News of Jesus Christ to children all over the world.
- Helps build schools.
- Provides nutritious meals for hungry children in developing countries.
- Provides religious education teachers for students
- Provides financial and spiritual support to suffering children in war-torn nations.
- Gives young Catholics a chance to live their faith by actively responding to their Baptismal call to mission.
- Supports programs that provide children homes in orphanages and hostels in place of the streets.
- Is the only association of its kind in the world based on the approach of “Children Helping Children.”
All young Catholics have a baptismal responsibility to make the message of Jesus Christ known to others. Through mission education programs and mission presentations, MCA helps our young missionaries in San Diego understand the universal nature of the Catholic Church and to recognize that they are missionaries today, in prayer and sacrifice, reaching out to children in the missions.
We are “One Family in Mission”
Each year, the Missionary Childhood Association hosts two special Masses to recognize the generosity of our young missionaries in the diocese of San Diego. One Mass takes place at the Imperial Valley during the month of October and another Mass is celebrated during the Spring at Our Mother of Confidence Parish. During the celebration, we give thanks and praise to God for all the prayers and sacrifices offered by children from Catholic Schools and Religious Education programs throughout the academic year. Students participate during the liturgy as lectors, choir, altar servers, and during the entrance and offertory procession. To enhance the celebration, students wear cultural outfits representing different countries in the world and mission color bandanas. All schools and RE programs are recognized with a certificate.
After Mass, we proceed to the Parish Hall to enjoy a luncheon and performances from our talented young missionaries. We are grateful to all principals, catechists, teachers, parents and students for responding to our annual invitation! The celebration is a beautiful way to symbolize that “We are one Family in Mission.”
World Mission Rosary
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen loved the missions and he wanted us to pray for our mission family. Therefore, in 1951 he created the World Mission Rosary. Each set of beads on the World Mission Rosary is a different color and represent a specific part of the world for which to pray.
Green – the forests and grasslands of Africa
Blue – the oceans surrounding the islands of the Pacific
White – Europe the seat of the Holy Father, shepherd of the world
Red – the fire of faith that brought missionaries to the Americas
Yellow – the morning light of the East, for Asia
Pray the Mission Rosary or even a decade together as a class or encourage your children to pray it alone or with their families during the week. With your children, discuss the needs of the people in the different areas of the world represented by each color of the decade. Talk together about the many people in the world that may not know of Jesus.
- Have your children find one country in the news where people are in need. Discuss this need with your children. Stress the idea of being one family. Pray one decade of the rosary each day/week for those people from the news story.
- Create an acrostic prayer with your children using words like FAMILY, SHARING, MISSION. Write the word vertically on a paper. Create a prayer with your children using each letter of the vertical word to begin a line in the prayer. Pray this prayer daily.
- Encourage families to begin meals with a prayer of thanksgiving, remembering those in need by “name”- a current news story can be used – i.e. the children in China who can’t talk about Jesus, the refugees in the Sudan, the orphaned children in Ghana, etc.
Remember Daily PRAYER is the best way to make a difference in the lives of children all over the world! The World Mission Rosary is an excellent way to pray for the missions.
Learn How to Make a World Mission Rosary and Purchase Parts and Supplies at www.olrm.org