Myanmar: A legacy of hope for tomorrow

With help from our supporters in England and Wales, a new boarding house in Mine Lunn Parish, Myanmar, is providing a brighter future for children in poor areas. Mine Lunn was officially established as a parish in 2004. The local people are Karen: the third biggest ethnic group in Myanmar, and over a third of Karens are Christian. The Karen people suffered discrimination and violence under the former military regime; hundreds of Karen villages were burnt by the army under the former military government, and thousands of people were displaced.

No time for school

Many of the Karen people in this area earn a living by gardening and farming. But they are often trapped in a cycle of poverty, with little or no prospect for development and education, and no access to basic services. To make ends meet, most children have to work in the farms and earn an income for the family instead of attending school.

Because parents simply can’t afford to pay school fees, Mine Lunn parish provides their children from the outlying villages with free food, clothing, healthcare and education. And to help them continue their education past primary school level, the parish built a small children’s boarding house. It was a vital place for the community, as it meant older children had somewhere safe to stay while they attended secondary school in town. But sadly, the building was in a poor state of repair and became too unsafe to use.

You helped create a safe, beautiful boarding house

Thanks to donations and a generous legacy from Missio (adult branch of Missio) supporters in England and Wales, the children’s boarding house in Mine Lunn has been replaced with a new, safe building. Now, the children from surrounding villages have a safe place to stay, learn, pray and grow. And thanks to funding from Missio in England and Wales, the local community is able to maintain the building.

Fr. Bernardino Ne Ne, PMS [Missio] national director of Myanmar, said:

“I wish to express my sincerest appreciation and heartfelt gratitude for your financial support for the maintenance of the Infant Jesus’ Boarding House. With the funds you sent, the boarding house accepts and nurtures 26 children from Mine Lunn and surrounding villages for this academic year 2019-2020.”

Article written by Claud Fulwood.

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An Extraordinary Month of Mission

As Christians, we all have a mission: to share God’s love with the whole world. No one is too young or too small to take part. Through Mission Together, children everywhere pray for and share with one another in a unique exchange of love and friendship.

This October, Pope Francis is asking children to make a special effort to share God’s love around the world. Click here to find out about the Extraordinary Month of Mission (EMM).

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Thank you for supporting our ‘Day of Many Colours’!

Sacred Heart Primary, Roehampton, recreated the Mission Rosary for their DOMC!

Huge thanks to all schools who supported our Day of Many Colours. We’re delighted that so many celebrated how, by working together, we share God’s love everywhere!

The Day of Many Colours is our annual faith and fundraising event, celebrating the Universal Church and how through Mission Together, children are helping children around the world.

The Day of Many Colours is celebrated on the last Friday before the Feast of St Peter and St Paul – the Church’s two great missionaries.

But don’t worry if you missed it – schools can hold their own Day of Many Colours at any point in the year.

This year’s assembly focused on St Peter and how as a missionary he helped the Church to grow into a global family, made up of billions of people, all trying to share God’s love as Jesus taught. You can download this and other resources here.

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Our Good Shepherd Liturgies have begun!

Written by Missio’s Education Coordinator, Sheila Isaac 

Mission Together’s annual Good Shepherd Liturgy in Southwark Archdiocese took place on Wednesday 22nd May, when over 800 pupils from 29 schools gathered at Aylesford Priory, Kent, to celebrate being ‘children helping children’.

Each year schools supporting Mission Together – the Pope’s official children’s charity for overseas mission – gather to mark a year of prayer and sharing. Through scripture, song and dance, pupils share faith with one another, demonstrate their talents and remember that God’s love is for sharing.

Archbishop Peter Smith presided and explained that by supporting Mission Together the children are following Jesus’ commandment – ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’  Using Jesus’ words as their inspiration, the children had written prayers at school which they brought with them on their colourful Prayer Poles. These were carried in the processions and shared with one another.

Last year schools in Southwark raised over £7,800 for Mission Together. Thanks to them, children around the world who are living in poverty, learn that they are not forgotten. They know that there are children overseas who care about them and who pray to God for them. This gives them hope for a better future.

It was wonderful to see hundreds of Southwark’s pupils present, in spite of many schools’ funding difficulties. Headteacher, Mrs Linda O’Callaghan, of St Mary’s Primary Croydon, explained how they and a neighbouring school secured their attendance.

‘For one form entry schools times are hard, they need all the help they can get. So we invited another Catholic Primary along with us today. It’s important we share and work together.’

Many thanks to all the children who attended and performed; thank you to the staff and parents who prepared the children and who attended on the day. Thanks, too, to the Southwark Archdiocese Education Commission and the staff at Aylesford Priory, who all helped to make the day a great success.

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New Pentecost Resource for 2019

This year’s Pentecost Liturgy helps children celebrate the birthday of the Church, whilst learning that the Church is not just a building made with bricks – but a community made up of billions of people around the world, all trying to share God’s love as Jesus taught.

Our new Pentecost Liturgy incorporates scripture, drama, symbol, prayer, and activities. To view this resource and resources from previous years, click here.

The image used above was taken at St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Free State, South Africa. Pictured with the children is Fr Adongo, a Mill Hill Missionary Priest whose training was part funded by our adult branch, Missio.

 

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St Bernard’s ‘Snowdrop of Hope’ Lenten Display!

We were delighted to see how our Lenten resources have inspired St Bernard’s Preparatory School, Slough. Using our Lent Activity ‘Signs of Hope’, the whole school have worked together to create an impressive ‘Snowdrop Field of Hope’!

Teacher, Mrs Perrett, explained that the display is much more than a beautiful backdrop. “On each snowdrop, the children have written what they are giving up for Lent and how this can impact others.” In addition to their Lenten sacrifices, some pupils are also taking up sponsored tasks and donating money raised to help children around the world through Mission Together.

The pupils’ almsgiving efforts have been inspired by another Mission Together resource, Sr Sonia’s Journey (look to the right of this post to view the film). This short film tells the story of Peruvian missionary, Sr Sonia, and shows how through her service and ministry she is helping children and their families in a remote village in Malawi.

Sr Sonia’s desire to share God’s love with others made such an impression on pupils from St Bernard’s Faith Ambassador Team (pictured in the photo), that they worked together to write her a letter. Their special message thanks Sr Sonia for her work and contains a promise to follow her example – praying and sharing to help children in Malawi and around the world

The pupils then posted the letter to Mission Together with a request that it be forwarded to Sr Sonia. We are honoured to be able to do so and look forward to letting you know her response! We are very grateful to St Bernard’s school for being part of our mission together – to make God’s love known in the world. Your snowdrop display is beautiful, but your Lenten efforts are even more so!

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A new Children’s Liturgy for Parishes

Did you know that Mission Together is the children’s branch of Missio, known by its distinctive Red collection Box? Many are unaware of the link or of the Sunday Children’s Liturgy that complements Missio’s Parish Appeals. We’ve recently revised this Children’s Liturgy and are making it available to download from both our Mission Together and Missio websites.

This Children’s Liturgy is based upon Jesus’s new commandment, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ And explores the words; service and mission. To find out more and to download our Red Box Appeal Children’s Liturgy, click here.

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Blackpool’s Little Lights

Here at Mission Together we are always delighted to hear about new supporters. So when Sr Margaret Ochigbo HHCJ, contacted us to tell us about the efforts of Holy Family Primary, Blackpool, we couldn’t wait to share the good news.

Sr Margaret introduced Mission Together to Holy Family School in Autumn 2018, initially through the use of the Mission Rosary. Since then, the school community have started a Mission Together Club and have chosen to fundraise for our projects during Lent 2019.

Sr Margaret (pictured with pupils) has worked with the school Community, to devise an impressive Lenten fundraising plan of action, including a Soup Lunch, Grandparents Day, and Book Sale. As a missionary herself, Sr Margaret was familiar with Mission Together and its role in providing spiritual and practical relief to places of poverty and turmoil.

Through her many years teaching in schools in her native Nigeria and now in the UK through her pastoral ministry in parishes and schools, Sr Margaret has seen first-hand the powerful results of ‘children helping children’ through sharing and prayer. Sr Margaret told us. “I have established Mission Together in all the schools and parishes where I had worked.”

“The idea of children helping children appeals to me, as a religious sister and educationist.”

She continued. “My experience in Holy Family School has been wonderful, the headteacher, staff and pupils are amazing, and when I threw the idea of starting Mission Together, as part of their existing work in upholding the Catholic ethos and practices, they accepted it willingly.”

As the Catholic Church’s official children’s charity for overseas mission, Mission Together unites children in a unique exchange of faith, friendship, and solidarity. With participating schools in every continent, pupils are encouraged to pray for and share with other children in need of support, whatever their background or belief. In this special way God’s light and love are shared around the world.

Mission Together is the children’s branch of Missio. To find out more about our work visit missiontogether.co.uk. You can also download our 2019 Lent resources here. Order classroom materials and contact us to arrange an assembly.

 

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What is Missionary Childhood Day?

In a recent interview to Agenzia Fides – the Vatican news agency – Sister Roberta Tremarelli, Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of Holy Childhood (Mission Together), provided a helpful explanation of the meaning and genesis of Missionary Childhood Day. Below is an abridged transcript.

“When Missionary Childhood Day was established on 4 December 1950 by Pope Pius XII, all countries were asked to identify a date to be dedicated to Holy Childhood. Many celebrate it on 6th January precisely because it is the Epiphany, a day of feast for children. But in other countries it is celebrated in February or May or July or October.”

“To have a Day dedicated to Holy Childhood Society, even if the dates are different in the world, means that, on that occasion, all the children on the continent are put in relation, in communication with each other. Jesus is the centre and at the same time represents a bond for the children in the whole world”. Sister Roberta Tremarelli

“It is an occasion dedicated to all the children who, like adults, are missionaries, by virtue of Baptism. This also recalls the theme of this year’s Extraordinary Missionary Month: Baptized and sent.”

The Extraordinary Month of Mission referred to by Sr Tremarelli, takes place in October 2019. As we approach this special month, Mission Together will be producing even more resources to encourage pupils in England and Wales to be mini-missionaries – praying for and sharing with other children around the world in a unique exchange of faith and friendship. Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our e-newsletter to keep abreast of our new resources.

 

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2018 – A Year of Great Gatherings!

In 2018 Mission Together celebrated 175 years of children around the world revealing God’s love through prayer and sharing. In England and Wales, Mission Together marked this anniversary with a series of special liturgies. Schools across the country gathered together in Diocesan celebrations, attended by their local Bishop and clergy.

By November 2018 almost 3000 children had joined in our anniversary liturgies, renewing their mission together to be children helping children through prayer and sharing.

Mission Together would like to extend our thanks to staff in participating schools and Diocesan Education Coordinators who helped organise our liturgies. Your support is invaluable. Thank you for being a big part of our Mission Together.

If you are interested in hosting a Mission Together liturgy in your Diocese, Deanery, or Academy Trust, please contact education@missio.org.uk or use our contact form on this website.

 

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Mission Together materials complement all Catholic RE programmes, uphold Catholic teaching, and are mindful of requirements within the Common Inspection Framework.

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 education@missio.org.uk
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