Propagation of the Faith
- To seek prayer and sacrifice for the world's missions-- now some 1,100 dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific islands, and remote regions of Latin America
- To offer help for pastoral and evangelizing programs, for catechists and catechetical work, for the construction of churches and chapels, for the work of Religious Communities in health care and education, and for communication and transportation needs.
In France in the early 19th century, Pauline Jaricot, inspired by letters about the Missions from her brother, Phileas, started gathering small groups of people--mostly workers in her family's silk factory. She asked each member of the group to offer daily prayer and a weekly sacrifice of a sous (the equivalent of a penny at that time) for the Church's worldwide missionary work. Pauline insisted that her efforts be directed to all the Church's missions-- that it be universal.
Pauline's vision became the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. The very first collection of the Propagation of the Faith in 1822 supported the vast diocese of Louisiana, which then extended from the Florida Keys to Canada, as well as the missions of Kentucky and China.
World Mission Sunday
World Mission Sunday is a day set aside for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice. World Mission Sunday is celebrated annually and is the main way to collect funds for the Propagation of the Faith.
As described by Pope John Paul II, World Mission Sunday is "an important day in the life of the Church because it teaches how to give: as an offering made to God, in the Eucharistic celebration and for all the missions of the world" (see Redemptoris Missio 81).