Mission Cooperative Plan
Mission Cooperative Plan 2023
The Mission Cooperative Plan is an archdiocesan cooperative program that plays a vital role in sharing with the faithful of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington about the worldwide evangelistic mission of the Church and how they can support the missions. In 2022, fifteen mission groups were selected to make appeals in 41 archdiocesan parishes. Applications are now being accepted for 2023.
1. Diocese of Adilabad, India: A geographically large diocese that includes 2.7 million people, this diocese provides vital services for anyone in need, regardless of religious affiliation. The funds from the appeal will be used for several projects: a diocesan food security program, providing health care to HIV and AIDS patients, caring for the elderly and disabled, youth empowerment programs, education, and vocational training in remote villages for boys and girls.
On behalf of the Diocese of Adilabad, Fr. Manoj Ponakttil Abraham will be visiting Epiphany Catholic Church and Holy Rosary Church throughout the summer.
2. Archdiocese of Caracas, Venezuela: The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela began in 2010 and the Archdiocese of Caracas provides many necessary services for those in need. This archdiocese wishes to use the funds from the appeal to help alleviate poverty within local communities affected by the crisis in addition to funding spiritual formation for parishioners. These funds will also help children with HIV and AIDS in an archdiocesan-run orphanage and will go toward care programs for over 100 elderly persons.
On behalf of the Archdiocese of Caracas, Fr. Nicola Villano will be visiting the Shrine of the Sacred Heart and St. Mark the Evangelist Church in Hyattsville, MD throughout the summer.
3. Diocese of Kasana-Luweero, Uganda: The Diocese of Kasana-Luweero is located in a rural area that was affected greatly by the Ugandan civil war of the 1980’s. The war caused social and economic issues as well as a decline in the quality of education. Subsequently, the population of 781,565 suffers from poverty and related issues. The mission appeal funds will go toward paying the tuition for seminarians, living expenses of priests, providing clean water to the region, and funding diocesan schools.
On behalf of the Diocese of Kasana-Luweero, Fr. John Bosco Lugonja will visit Sacred Heart Parish in La Plata, MD from October 15-16, St. Anthony Catholic Church in North Beach, MD from November 12-13, and Assumption Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary from November 19-20.
4. Diocese of Lexington, USA: In the mountainous Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky, the population is less than 1% Catholic. The diocese’s presence is one of evangelization and service to everyone as they strive to be messengers of hope in very challenging circumstances. Employment opportunities are limited and most households require assistance to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and medicine. Appeal donations will go towards supporting refugees in the area providing basic essentials, ESL classes, transportation, and opportunities to adjust to their new homeland.
On behalf of the Diocese of Lexington, Rev. Richard Watson, will visit St. Jerome Catholic Church in Hyattsville, MD from September 17-18. Additionally, Rev. Jim Sichko will visit Our Lady’s Church in Leonardtown, MD on October 8-9.
5. Diocese of Sylhet, Bangladesh: Formed in 2011, this diocese serves a primarily indigenous population who work in agriculture. Churches offer pastoral, spiritual, and material care in a variety of ways. The diocese focuses on education through overseeing over 100 primary schools and financially supports 800 students in middle and high school. Additionally, the Diocese of Sylhet provides medical care through clinics throughout the community and a center for disabled children. They also run a minor seminary for boys from 7th-10th grade. There is a great need for financial support following a recent flood that destroyed many homes and lives. The mission appeal funds will go toward their diocesan efforts to care for their community.
On behalf of the Diocese of Sylhet, Bangladesh, Rev. Stanley Gomes will visit St. Joseph Catholic Church in Largo, MD from September 17-18.
1. Franciscan Mission Service: With their Franciscan charism, strong ecclesial leadership, and 30 years of experience in lay mission, Franciscan Mission Service builds lasting, life-changing partnerships with individuals and communities. This lay mission group serves internationally in Bolivia, Jamaica, and Mexico as well as in t Washington, DC and Arizona. They recruit, train, commission, and support about 5 new missioners each year, most of whom are young adults, as well as 10-15 missioners overall. Their application notes that, “Many Catholics have a desire to walk with communities in need, but they are unaware that lay mission programs like ours are there to accompany them.” Their appeal donations would help increase their outreach and could support 6-10 new missioners per year.
On behalf of Franciscan Mission Service, various board members will be visiting St. Patrick Catholic Church from September 24-25, Our Lady Queen of Poland and St. Maximilian Kolbe in Silver Spring, MD from October 8-9, and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Morganza, MD.
2. Franciscan Works + Liberia Mission: Describing their work, this lay mission group says that, “Liberia Mission educates over 500 students from kindergarten to university level who would otherwise have difficulty attending school. Students are formed in the Catholic faith and are taught to live purpose-driven lives, as they walk in the steps of Christ.” Additionally, a ten-acre, student run agricultural and pig farm teaches agricultural skills and animal husbandry to children while providing income for the mission. Appeal funds will be used for children’s food, clothing, medical care, education and formation, as well as building maintenance and salaries for Liberian teachers and dorm-parents.
On behalf of Franciscan Works + Liberia Mission, various board members will visit St. Peter Claver Church in St. Inigoes, MD from August 20-21, Holy Face Church in Great Mills, MD from August 20-21, and St. Camillus in Silver Spring, MD on August 28.
Men’s Religious Orders
1. Apostles of Divine Charity (Charitan Missionaries): Based in Cameroon, this order’s mission is centered around their profound concern for the poor and the needy. They help people reinstate their sense of value and help them become more aware of their relevance to human society, to themselves, their families, and to God. For the past several years, the situation in Cameroon has become increasingly dangerous and violent as the French-speaking and English-speaking parts of the country battle one another in localized shootouts. With the funds this order receives, they will provide financial support to their rural mission centers, work on the development of their orphanage centers, and construct schools and vocational training centers in the rural villages they serve, as well as drill a borehole to help provide clean water. Additionally, they will fund their youth scholarship program, ministry for the elderly, youth apostolate, and their seminarians’ education.
On behalf of the Apostles of Divine Charity, Rev. Paul Ugwu will visit St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church from August 20-21, St. John the Evangelist in Clinton, MD from August 27-28, and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pomfret, MD from September 3-4.
2. General Secretariat of the Franciscan Missions: The General Secretariat of the Franciscan Missions under the direction of the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) in Rome coordinates the mission appeals of the Franciscan Friars. The donations received from the appeal will be used to educate Franciscan students in their initial formation, to prepare missionaries for ministry in their respective countries, and to further the mission of the Church throughout the world. Their application notes that, “While responding to the spiritual hunger of the people, corporal necessities are also met through human development projects directed most specifically to the poor and marginalized, including establishing, accompanying and reinforcing local church communities, providing shelter, reconciliation and healing after ethnic wars, and providing houses for the homeless.” They serve over 50 countries in South America, Asia, and Africa.
On behalf of the General Secretariat of the Franciscan Missions, Fr. Joy Devassy, OFM will be visiting St. Ann Catholic Church from August 27-28 and Fr. Gil Noriega, OFM, will be visiting St. Cecilia Catholic Church in St. Mary’s City, MD from September 17-18.
3. Irish Pallottine Fathers and Brothers (Society of the Catholic Apostolate): Founded in 1835 by St. Vincent Pallotti, this order promotes the revival of faith and charity in the world. The Irish Pallottines are located in Africa, South America, and the US. They will use mission appeal funds to support their missionary work in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as helping to fund student formation and missionary outreach activities in Argentina and Colombia. In Tanzania, there are currently 35 priests working in 12 parishes as well as at a rehabilitation center for handicapped children. There are also 14 priests working in parish and school ministry in Argentina and one missionary working in Colombia.
On behalf of the Irish Pallottine Fathers and Brothers, Fr. Stephen Mutie, SAC will be visiting St. Michael and St. Dominic in Brandywine, MD from October 1-2, St. Paul Catholic Church in Damascus, MD on October 15-16, and Immaculate Conception Church in Mechanicsville, MD.
4. Missionaries of Jesus: This order focuses on evangelization efforts in Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, the US Southwest, and the Philippines. They live among those who live on the margins and provide education for parishes and seminarians and disaster relief in the locations they serve. They serve along the US/Mexico border with a primary focus on the accompaniment of migrants. In Guatemala, they serve the indigenous Mayan population. In the Philippines, they work in the impoverished areas of Navotas, among the indigenous population of the mountains in Davao, and among the Christian-Muslim population of Mindanao. The donations collected from the appeal will support their school in the Philippines and help with the education of seminarians in Vietnam and the Philippines.
On behalf of the Missionaries of Jesus, Rev. Primo Fagel, MJ will be visiting Nativity Catholic Church from October 15-16, St. Peter in Waldorf, MD from October 1-2, and St. George in Valley Lee, MD from October 8-9.
Women’s Religious Orders
1. Comboni Missionary Sisters: St. Daniel Comboni founded this order in 1872 and these religious sisters work in several African countries. In their application they note, “We work in the remote areas of many countries where there is a shortage of priests, catechists and laity to do the work of evangelization. We minister in places where there are no hospitals, schools, or any social center where people are helped to live a life of dignity and inclusion.” The donations they receive will be used for sustainability projects, providing resources to start/restart income-generating projects with families and communities effected by COVID-19, leadership programs, empowering pastoral agents to find new ways of evangelization, and supporting young women in their vocational training.
On behalf of the Comboni Missionary Sisters, Sr. Tiberh Hagos will visit St. Mary, Mother of God Parish from July 16-17. Sr. Maria Cecilia Sieira Saicido, will be visiting St. Mary of the Mills in Laurel, MD from July 30-31. Sr. Delia Margarita Contreras del Toro will visit St. Luke Catholic Church from September 3-4.
2. Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu: This order, located in Uganda, Kenya, Italy, Scranton, and Honolulu, ministers through Catholic education, healthcare, pastoral and social services to the poor and vulnerable with a special emphasis on women, children, and the elderly. The funds from the appeal will support social and pastoral outreach efforts in Uganda. The sisters are focusing on providing education of mothers and their children at a vocational school, establishing a day care center, setting up a children’s infirmary, funding Catholic youth outreach programs in refugee camps, and organizing a feeding program for refugee children and parents.
On behalf of the Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu, Sr. Mary Cecilia Draru will be visiting Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church on October 15-16 and Our Lady, Queen of Peace Catholic Church on November 5-6.
3. Missionary Daughters of St. Rita: The Missionary Daughters of Saint Rita is a society of consecrated women dedicated to the care of the poor, especially marginalized widows, single mothers, and their children. The sisters note, “The terrorist attack in the northern part of Burkina Faso has displaced countless people and rendered many women and children widows and orphans. These widows beg for food during the day and sleep in the streets at night where they become victims of sexual exploitation.” This order plans to use funds to build a hall to accommodate these refugees during the night and protect them from exploitation. The hall will also be used as a classroom to empower women by teaching them vocational skills.
On behalf of the Missionary Daughters of St. Rita, Fr. Urban Osuji will be visiting Annunciation Catholic Church from August 20-21 and St. Andrew Kim Catholic Church in Olney, MD from November 12-13.
4. Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary (Bene-Mariya): In this order, 400 sisters serve orphans, the elderly, and children living on the street in four countries. In Burundi, they offer psychosocial support to victims of war and domestic violence. Funds from the appeal will be used to build a rain water collection tank for the children they work with in addition to assisting with a vocational training project to empower single mothers who have been victims of domestic violence.
On behalf of the Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sr. Fides Nijimbere will visit St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Benedict, MD from July 16-17, St. Thomas More Catholic Church on August 14, and Holy Cross Catholic Church in Garrett Park, MD from August 13-14.
These resources are available to help missionaries raise funds for their needs.
Agencies for Development Assistance by Pierre Aubin, George Cotter and Beverly A. Hennigan provides detailed information on hundreds of domestic and international agencies that provide financial aid to missions projects.
The Catholic Funding Guide is a directory of resources for funding Catholic ministries.
Mission Project Service is a capacity-building organization that provides developing-world missionaries with tools to seek and secure funding for their projects.
List your mission project on Missio, where others can donate to meet specific needs.
Fr. Diego Cano, IVE, missionary to Tanzania
Sometimes I think that the work of a missionary is not well understood. This is understandable because missionary work is part of a mystery. Since he takes part in the Eucharist, the missionary priest participates in this “mystery of faith.” For some people, the missionary ought to “do things”… above all in the world’s opinion. It seems like the value of the missionary is measured by how many things, visible things, and works, preferably social works, he does.
When someone asks what I do in Africa, I respond that I am a missionary. Yes, but what do you do? That’s just it, I am a missionary, and like Christ commanded the first missionaries, I preach the gospel. At times they keep looking at me a little disappointed… because, of course, only from the point of view of faith can one understand that our lives are devoted to this: to preaching the gospel.
We should never think that we have to choose between preaching the gospel and performing works of mercy. We must do the one without neglecting the other, and doing works of mercy should be a way of preaching the gospel with deeds.
As missionaries, we also dream of schools, orphanages, and homes for the disabled. But we know that all of this is in order to attend to Christ in the poor and to save the souls of the greatest number of people possible, to give testimony to the Christian life, our faith expressed in works.
This is the mystery of faith! This is the mystery of the missionary life, united to Christ in the Eucharist, which goes unperceived by the eyes of the world, but not by the eyes of God.
“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:15-16).