Women in Mission for over 100 years!

groups_stjudeIn an effort to encourage all peoples of all ages to be involved in the wonderful work of mission, the Mission Office actively supports the gathering and work of Mission Groups throughout our diocese who support mission through their participation in projects and promotion.

Women in the St. Cloud Diocese support mission in a wonderful way. As members of mission groups they get together throughout the diocese to share their prayers and talents to help others around the world. This tradition was started in 1919 when the Missionary Association of Catholic Women was instituted in the St. Cloud Diocese. In 1926 Bishop Joseph Busch appointed Fr. Joseph Kreuter, OSB as the first diocesan Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and in 1928 the women changed their name to Auxiliary to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. They organized a diocesan program of activities to assist mission parishes in the diocese and missioners who were engaged in home and foreign mission. Auxiliary President, Mrs. Joseph Prem, stated in 1930, “Everyone can find some means of helping, either by prayer, or by interesting others, or by active work.” This sentiment was echoed at the Second Vatican Council years later, that the work of evangelization is a “basic duty of the people of God” and all the faithful should cooperate in the extension of Christ’s body in order to bring it to fullness. All baptized Christians are called to be missionary.

Although characteristics, dynamics and the role of mission groups have since changed in ways, their support to the Mission Office and to members of both their local and their global community has gone unwavering.

groups_sewingCurrently there are approximately 175 mission groups within the diocese, with most parishes having at least one mission group, some having more. Each group has its own unique characteristics and activities. But often they revolve around projects such as making layettes, putting together personal care or dental hygeine bags, gathering school supplies, and quilting/sewing. The items the women make are distributed to those in need by the Mission Office. Currently, they are sent to Common Hope in Guatemala, various Native American Reservations, Sharing and Caring Hands in Minneapolis, our diocesan partnerships, and a variety of other locations.

Many groups also engage in fundraising activities to raise money for missioners and special projects. More recently, some are involving the youth of their parishes in service projects and others are inviting mission education speakers to share at their parish.

For over 100 years Auxiliary or Mission Group members have been coming together in friendship and fellowship to reach out to others. They demonstrate our oneness with our brothers and sisters within and beyond our communities. We are grateful for their Christian witness and support!


Mission Group “Quick-Facts:”

  1. Within the Diocese of Saint Cloud there are approximately 170 parish or community mission groups.
  2. Each deanery has a mission group chairperson who serves as a liaison between the Mission Office and all the groups in that region.
  3. The groups often provide handmade quilts, World Mission Rosaries, and embroidered dishtowels for the Mission Office to donate locally and globally or sell to earn mission-support funds.
  4. The members of the mission groups also are involved in collecting school supplies, dental hygeine and personal care items, and homemade children’s clothing or new baby items that are shipped to domestic and international mission sites.
  5. Many members of the mission groups also pray regularly for and keep personal connections with foreign missioners or local missioners serving oversees.

Find out more about the numerous Mission Projects that many mission groups are involved in, and you could be too! Or view a complete list of mission needs and what is included in homemade and collected mission donation items on our Projects & Service Ideas page.


Joining or Starting a Mission Group

Anyone can join a mission group! Although our mission groups are predominantly women, we encourage anyone – male or female, young or old, new to mission or a long-time supporter – to consider joining and dedicating themselves to supporting our global church.

Nearly every parish in our diocese has a Mission Group, and some have more than one! If you’re interested in joining one of these groups, your first step should be to contact your parish office or watch your parish bulletin to see if there is information or a contact person for an already existing group. If you are unable to find a contact person this way, call us at the Mission Office (320-251-1100) and we will do our best to connect you with one of these great groups.

If there is not already a mission group in your parish, or if you simply would like to start another one in your community, contact the Mission Office. We will help answer questions about what this entails, help you determine who your group chair will be and make sure you’re aware of which deanery you are in and when we will be gathering next in that deanery. We’d love to see up-and-coming groups beginning throughout our diocese – so call us today if you’re interested!


groups_meetingSpring Mission Meetings

The Diocese is divided into seven “deaneries” (formerly 12 deaneries, but changed to seven as of 2008). These divisions allow for representation of both clergy and laity on Diocesan Councils, and similarly allow our Mission Groups to have liaisons from their area of the diocese to us at the Mission Office. Each deanery has a volunteer Deanery Chair from the mission groups to represent their area and assist in planning for the work of the groups.  Every spring the Mission Office was holding “Mission Meetings,” taking place in host parishes in each deaneries.  Activities of the Spring Mission Meetings included reporting on activities by both the Mission Office and the mission groups; sharing of ideas, needs and talents for the coming year; presentation by Mission Office staff; celebrating Liturgy; sharing about our mission connections and global solidarity initiatives; and fellowship time. In those host parishes with a Catholic school, the day is celebrated with the students as well, as Mission Office staff meet with the faculty and student body.

Beginning in 2014, however, these deanery meetings were replaced with one large gathering of ALL the mission groups from throughout the diocese gathering in one location, for a “Mission Rally.”  This event had been a tradition held every 5th year, but at the request of the groups, is now an annual event.  What a blessing it is to connect with others and share more through speakers, discussion, displays and Liturgy about our call to the universal church.  EVERYONE is invited to join in this event each year!

 

The date for the next Mission Rally is still being determined, but the location will be at Holy Cross Parish in Onamia.  Check back or watch our Mission Connections Newsletters for more information, such as date, times and presenter(s).