In the midst of the New Evangelization, there is still room for a more traditional form of evangelization. There are missionaries who work in various parts of the world who need our help to bring the message of Christ to those who need to hear it. It is a long-standing and worthy tradition for the Church to have an opportunity to reach out to those in other parts of the world. Every year, each parish in the Diocese of Pittsburgh takes one weekend to participate in the Missionary Cooperation Plan in which we host a missionary, who will tell us about his group’s work and their needs. There is, of course, a second collection for that weekend, with the proceeds going to help others receive the joy of Christ’s love.
I am giving you a little bit of advance warning on this year’s missionary appeal, for I will be on my vacation when the time comes. Two weeks from now, on the weekend of August 12-13, we will host a priest from the Diocese of Geita. Geita is located in Tanzania, in East Africa. They list as their mission, “To inspire and empower people as a family of God in the Diocese through deep evangelization, Socio-economic, healthcare service, good education, formation of all agents of evangelization in the Diocese, revitalization and continued emphasis on the role of small Christian Communities for evangelization, and preferential option for the poor and those infected with HIV/AIDS.” As I will be away the next two weekends, I take this opportunity to ask you to be generous in supporting this mission. On a practical note, all money we collect for this cause goes to the missionary effort, but first it goes through the Diocese of Pittsburgh so that they (and we) can keep track of what we collect. So if you write a check for this cause, please make it payable to St. Malachy Parish.
As I indicated, I will be leaving on my vacation this Wednesday. The vacation actually starts next Saturday. But diocesan policy allows a priest to make up any days off that he didn’t get, so I am tacking a couple of those on to the front end of the vacation. Fr. Don Buchleitner will be here to assist next weekend, and the missionary priest will be here the following week and will stay through the holy day of the Assumption on August 15.