What the Church's missionary work achieves

Sr Clara with girl in India

Though this was never my impression, some I’ve encountered may have been thinking that there’s not much connecting going on between the Catholic Church and the modern problems affecting our world, writes Marilyn Santos.

- Busted Halo

What’s the Church doing in the world: a lot.

The Catholic Church’s outreach in the developing world, especially to those who are on the margins, the powerless, the poor, the forgotten, is rooted in our inherent dignity as children of God. In light of this, the Catholic Church is perhaps the largest provider of education, medical, and social services in the world. In rural Zambia, for example, more than 60 percent of the health care services are managed by the Catholic Church there.

But those works of charity, relief, and the promotion of justice couldn’t happen if there was no Church, no catechists to communicate the faith, no places for worship, no religious Sisters or priests to administer the Sacraments.

That’s why building up the Catholic Church in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America is so vitally necessary. And that wouldn’t happen without help from the Pontifical Mission Societies — that is, the Pope’s own missionary societies; his way of reaching out directly to those in greatest need in our world with the healing, saving love of Jesus.

Every day missionaries live out their faith as they reach out to those most vulnerable in our society, sharing Christ’s love by offering practical, emotional, and spiritual care.

I was blessed to witness this firsthand in Ecuador where I served as a missionary — working side by side with Sisters, priests, and catechists providing basic and religious education for both children and adults, assisting in centers for victims of domestic violence and others for children found living in the streets. Again this work is done because of our faith’s belief in the dignity of all people and that all are the beloved children of God.

FULL STORY What the Church's missionary work achieves