Society of the Propagation of the Faith
The Pontifical Mission Societies consist of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. They promote a universal missionary spirit — a spirit of prayer and sacrifice — among all baptized Catholics.
The first three Societies, in carrying out that goal, invite baptized Catholics to express their missionary commitment by offering their prayers, personal sacrifices and financial support for the work of the Church in the Missions.
The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious works to deepen mission awareness among priests, men and women Religious, catechists, and educators so that they are fully prepared to take on the mission formation of the faithful. The four Societies each received the title “pontifical” in 1922 to indicate their status as official instruments of the Holy Father and of the Universal Roman Catholic Church. According to the teaching of Vatican Council II, the Pontifical Mission Societies are institutions of the Universal Church and of each local church. Therefore, unlike any other mission organization, they are both Pontifical and Episcopal in nature; as such, the Pontifical Mission Societies are recognized as the principal instrument for educating the faithful to an awareness of the Church’s universal mission and for encouraging their support, in prayer and sacrifice, for the evangelizing mission of the Church among two-thirds of the human family.
All baptized Catholics have the opportunity to participate in the worldwide mission of the Church by offering their prayers, personal sacrifices or financial contributions to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association or the Society for St. Peter Apostle. The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious is a spiritual apostolate for Priests, Religious men and women, catechists and lay people. Each year the celebration of World Mission Sunday provides an opportunity, within the context of the Eucharist, for Catholics to express their prayerful and financial support of the Church’s worldwide missionary work and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in particular.