We were blessed to meet some dedicated and enthusiastic Missio Red Box supporters and Local Secretaries at our Mission Animation in Cardiff on Saturday – a great way to celebrate the 224th birthday of one of Missio’s founders: Blessed Pauline Jaricot!
We gathered at St Cadoc’s Parish Church in Wales, to share experiences of mission at home and messages from our global family.
What is mission?
Central to our discussion and animation was the question ‘What is mission?’ and we spent some time discussing this as a group, writing our thoughts down and adding them together around the Red Boxes. Words such as ‘togetherness’ ‘journey’ and ‘faith’ emerged, as well as ‘funding’, ‘prayers’ and, vitally ‘Christ in action’. It was helpful for us to gather these thoughts together, and to look at mission from a more global perspective.
The legacy of mission
What was apparent was the way that the Red Box has been a feature in so many homes growing up, and the importance of passing faith from one generation to the next. Supporter Josephine recalled how she learned about the Red Box and what it stands for from her mum and remembers putting pennies in the box as a child. She shared that she now helps children with their reading at a local Catholic primary school and has taken Mission Rosary beads in to give to the children and introduce them to praying for mission around the world.
Bringing the parish together
The day was an opportunity to gather feedback and understanding from our volunteers about the challenges and joys of the role. Local Secretary, Mark, noted how different parishes have been merged together, and how joint events have been instrumental in creating unity. He shared that he likes to be there for his parish community in whatever way he can and has handed out Mission Rosaries to Red Box holders who wanted them. Mark was happy to report how generous people are to the Red Box, which made carrying all the heavy boxes to the Post Office worthwhile and enjoyable!
In 2022, Cardiff Archdiocese raise a fantastic total of £91,000 for Missio and the Red Box. What an amazing achievement!
The changing nature of the parish family
Local Secretary, Gerry, raised an interesting point about the fluid nature of the parish, with new families arriving and leaving more frequently than was previously the case. While this can be a source of concern in terms of creating new relationships, it allowed for a great discussion on what we can do in the face of big shifts in how we meet and come together, to spread the word about Missio and our global mission. The participants were excited to hear about the Little Red Box – our children’s version of the Red Box, which introduces young missionaries to fundraising and praying for our global family.
A short film about Missio’s work in Malawi brought back fond memories for Barbara who previously lived in Malawi for two years. It’s always great to hear that people have a personal connection to our Church family overseas. We discussed the ways in which Missio works so closely with missionaries overseas – we know them, and they know us, so when we pray and raise money, it truly is for our global family!
The great outcome of the mission animation session was to see and hear that we are all in mission together. When we are working away at our particular journey, sometimes we can forget that we are part of a huge global family – 1.36 billion baptised Catholics worldwide!
When we look at it in those terms, we remember that together we are an incredible force for change and for good. And bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world is a joyful mission.
A big thank you to everyone who joined us and to St Cadoc’s for welcoming us. We look forward to returning to the Archdiocese of Cardiff in May 2024 for a Diocesan Mass with Archbishop Mark O’Toole to celebrate all our volunteers, and mission throughout the world.