Venerable Fulton Sheen was in many ways the Saint John The Baptist of modern Catholic evangelization. By his early adoption of the then-cutting-edge mediums of radio and television, he was a precursor to all those throughout the world who are using the latest technologies to serve the Church and people all over the world.
Today is the anniversary of his death on December 9th, 1979. And while this new media visionary and prophet has been gone for nearly 40 years, his lessons and example live on with vibrancy.
Nearly 60 years ago, Ven. Fulton Sheen, went on a journey to view missionary activities in various areas of Africa. These were among the notes written inside a small notebook he kept while on this journey…
“In Eldoret, saw a catechism class and a new mission to be opened that needs a church…. Drove 100 miles – impossible roads – arrived at Ortum at a Catholic hospital helping treat tuberculosis.… In Uganda made stop at a center for deaf and blind children. Also in Alexander Township, gave the Sisters $1,500 to help with 1,000 students.… Need in Nigeria – more Religious Brothers for teaching.”
As he captured the work and needs of the Mission Church he saw on a visit to Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, he also offered a glimpse of his personal encounters on these journeys. Archbishop Sheen would share these moments on the pages of The Pontifical Mission Societies’ MISSION magazine, and tell of them during his television and radio broadcasts.
But what was startling is how the needs Ven. Fulton Sheen saw on this missionary trip still exist in nearly the same form in the 21st century.
Fast forward to today and the work of priests, religious Sisters and Brothers, and lay missionaries continues in the world’s most vulnerable communities. And just as Christ told us that we would always have the poor with us, we as Catholics must always look for new and better ways to serve them.
While the work and situations are often just as dire and undeveloped as in Sheen’s day, in the same spirit of his work, today, The Pontifical Mission Societies are using the most cutting-edge means to address these needs, to inform the world of missionary work, and to give people a direct link to support them.
Launched by Pope Francis himself, MISSIO is a new and innovative Catholic crowd-funding platform that allows you to directly help provide aid and assistance to the poorest areas around the world with the most need.
With MISSIO you can directly support the works of Catholic missionaries in the poorest and most desperate areas of the world. Just some of the giving opportunities on MISSIO include providing Care for Pregnant Women and Mothers in Nigeria, help a priest in India give Children with AIDS vital medicine, get clean drinking water to Myanmar – where the Pope is visiting this week! – or directly support Pope Francis’ personal missionary fund that serves over 1,100 dioceses across the world.
Choose one of these missions of Pope Francis knowing that 100% of your donation will go directly there. Share about it on social media so others can support the projects also.
MISSIO is powered by The Pontifical Mission Societies, the Catholic Church’s official support organization for overseas missions since 1822, providing for a global network of people who are making a difference for communities in need around the globe.
Check out MISSIO today and give this Giving Tuesday!