Have you ever wondered what inspires the world’s greatest ideas? Sometimes, it can be as simple as a question from a brother to his sister. For example, in the 19th century, Phileas Jaricot was a seminarian determined to become a missionary in China. His sister Pauline-Marie Jaricot was devoted to a life of prayer and ministry to the needy. One day, Phileas asked his sister if she could find a way to raise funds to send priests to Asia. In response to this request, Pauline-Marie conceived the idea of creating small groups that would pray and offer financial support to spread the Word of God. This simple idea would come to change the history of evangelization, and from her efforts the Society for the Propagation of the Faith was born. Blessed Pauline-Marie Jaricot was beatified in Lyon, France on May 22 of this year. This response to a question from a brother to his sister continues to reverberate throughout the world. Today, more than 28,000 seminarians, mostly in Asia and Africa, receive an average annual subsidy of $700 from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith / Society of St. Peter Apostle; assistance is also provided for women and men preparing to serve as Religious Sisters and Brothers. “Your constant support is invaluable in meeting our multiple challenges that confront us here,” said Aleke Kenneth, a student at Christ the King Major Seminary in Kaduna, Nigeria, an area that has seen increased violence in recent years, including the kidnapping of Catholic priests. Support sent to this seminary provided for the education of Aleke and his classmates, along with school supplies, meals and lodging. Similar help went to St. Mary’s National Major Seminary in Kampala, Uganda. Assistance sent to Lux Mundi Sampran Major Seminary in Bangkok, Thailand, enabled students to visit the elderly and infirmed in nearby villages, and to work in the local mission hospital. Today, some two hundred years later, I ask you the same question that Phileas asked Pauline-Marie, and I invite you to continue this worldwide evangelization through a gift to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith / Society of St. Peter Apostle. Whether a monthly gift or a single donation, your support and prayers will help prepare tomorrow’s mission priests to proclaim the Gospel, celebrate the Sacraments, and serve the poor in the world’s most vulnerable communities. What began with a sister and brother continues with you. I am so grateful for your generosity and assure you of my prayers through the intercession of Blessed Pauline-Marie Jaricot.
-Reverend Monsignor Terrance Fleming Summer 2022