Mission Cooperative Plan
Mission Cooperative Plan 2023
The Mission Cooperative Appeal 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 2023, fifteen mission groups were selected to make appeals in 42 archdiocesan parishes.
1. Diocese of Aitape, Papua New Guinea: Established in 1952, the Diocese of Aitape serves an area where more than 75% of inhabitants are Catholic. However, the diocese struggles to fund their pastoral work. Appeal donations will help finance the salaries of priests, religious, and lay staff, in addition to meeting the operational needs of the diocese to assist various services’ expenses. The diocese would like to bring missionary priests to the area, support the ongoing formation of local seminarians, and provide maintenance to churches and priestly residences.
A representative from the Diocese of Aitape will visit the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Holy Ghost Church, and St. John Neumann Church this summer.
2. Balasore is a mission diocese with a population of 9 million. The Catholic population of 30,000 suffer as targets of violence from Hindu nationalists. The diocese focuses on uplifting the rural members of the diocese out of poverty and illiteracy through education, women empowerment programs, evangelization, schools, and health centers. Donations from the appeal will go to these programs as well as the salaries of 65 priests, 145 religious sisters, and 120 lay catechists who staff these efforts.
A representative from the Diocese of Balasore will visit St. Philip the Apostle and Our Lady of the Presentation this summer.
3. Diocese of Machakos, Kenya: One of the largest dioceses in Kenya that serves 83 parishes and 3.4 million people, the Diocese of Machakos is plagued by drought, famine, and poverty. The donations they receive will be used in many ways, including focusing on creating and supporting health programs aimed at mothers and children to reduce maternal and infant deaths, building clean water stations so the water-collectors — primarily young girls — can spend their time at school instead. The diocese maintains four institutions for children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS crisis in addition to supporting 78 orphaned children who are educated at the Uganda Martyrs’ Home. They also educate people living with developmental disabilities at a vocational school. The diocese provides support to train catechists and lay leaders to spread the Gospel in remote areas. Finally, they help increase the adoption of improved agricultural production technology so farmers can produce quality harvests.
A representative from the Diocese of Machakos will visit Our Lady of Victory and St. Raphael this summer.
4. Diocese of Sokoto, Nigeria: In recent years, Nigeria has experienced violent conflicts resulting in kidnappings and death. The Diocese of Sokoto intends to use mission appeal funds to aid those affected by this violence through psychological and physical rehabilitation. Donations will also be used to provide financial and social aid to victims of violence. The diocese has 36 diocesan priests, 33 religious sisters, 38 seminarians, and 53 lay catechists that staff 10 parishes, schools, health centers, and seminaries.
A representative from the Diocese of Sokoto will visit St. Jane Frances de Chantal and St. Martin of Tours this summer.
5. Prelature of Esquel, Argentina: Raising a voice for the poor and marginalized, the Prelature of Esquel serves 70,000 inhabitants of Patagonia, Argentina. Thirteen priests, ten nuns, and two seminarians, supported by approximately 250 catechists, serve all the parishes in this remote area. Funds collected through the appeal will support poor parishioners who lost homes in a recent wildfire, subsidize faith formation programs, help build a roof on a parish hall, fund new radio stations that broadcast the Good News to remote areas, and provide sponsorships for priests, religious sisters, and seminarians.
A representative from the Prelature of Esquel will visit St. Andrew the Apostle from August 12-13 and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Lexington Park, MD from October 14-15.
1. Community of Saint Paul: The Community of Saint Paul is an international missionary group currently responsible for various missions in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, and Ethiopia. Made up of priests and lay men and women from various countries, members strive to promote the integral development of all. In addition to promoting and carrying out the sacramental and pastoral work of the Church in several parishes, the Community of Saint Paul runs programs for children (preschool education, counseling and therapy, libraries), women (education, job training), healthcare (health centers and pharmacies, latrine construction, hygiene education and disease prevention, support for pregnant and nursing mothers, physical and speech therapy, dentistry and eye care), income producing endeavors, development projects, and education (school for Haitian immigrants, scholarships for children and youth, adult literacy courses, preschools, theology and scripture courses for lay adults, and catechesis). Donations from the appeal would support these varied endeavors.
A representative from the Community of Saint Paul will visit St. Edward the Confessor and St. Mary’s Church in Rockville, MD this summer.
2. Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti: The Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti Ministry serves the people of Haiti in the Christ Roi neighborhood of Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, and in fourteen parish communities in the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince. Committed to serving the people of Haiti in the spirit and values of the Gospel, this group is seeking donations to continue to provide sacramental and spiritual support, medical services, food and nutritional programs, educational sponsorships, and community development programs.
A representative from the Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti will visit St. Louis de France and Our Lady of Vietnam this summer.
3. Farm of the Child (Finca del Niño): Farm of the Child is a Catholic non-profit based in Honduras and is a mission modeled on the Holy Family that educates, protects, and promotes healing and spiritual formation for vulnerable children and families in the local community. Finca del Niño primarily serves as a home for up to 50 children, ranging from 2 to 18 years old. Each child comes from the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family-the Honduran governmental agency equivalent to Child Protective Services. Some children are orphans, others were abandoned by family, and others have suffered situations of severe emotional and physical trauma, malnutrition, or gang violence. Children are cared for by a team of Honduran staff, Franciscan sisters, and international missionaries. Appeal donations will be used to support the children’s needs as well as buy supplies for their medical clinic and school.
A representative from the Farm of the Child will visit Holy Redeemer Church in Kensington, MD and St. James this summer.
Men’s Religious Orders
1. Augustinians of the Assumption: Founded in 1850, this community of religious brothers and priests are present in 120 communities and 33 countries. In Mexico, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Uganda, they provide indispensable help to the marginalized through charitable works and formation programs for both laity and clergy. Many of their apostolates in these countries specifically work to better the living conditions of the impoverished brothers and sisters they minister to and live with. In the Philippines, they sponsor education and aid programs for villages in the Manila area and in other mission centers. A newly founded parish in Orizaba, Mexico ministers to an underserved indigenous community. Donations from the appeal will support these programs.
A representative from the Augustinians of the Assumption will visit St. Mary Church in Newport, MD and St. Columba Church this summer.
2. Brothers of Saint John: In Brazil, the Brothers of Saint John live in Salvador da Bahia, a poor neighborhood in the infamous favelas (Brazilian slums). They support the residents of their favela through spiritual and material support. Their ministries include teaching adult education classes, preaching, providing spiritual accompaniment, creating youth camps and field trips for children. Appeal donations ensure the life of the priory and the continuity of the mission.
A representative from the Brothers of Saint John will visit the Church of the Resurrection and St. Bernadine of Siena this summer.
3. Polish Redemptorists: Located in 82 countries, the Redemptorists’ purpose is to “preach the Gospel to the poor.” In Poland, this order recently has been providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and assisting war refugees. They will use mission appeal funds to continue this assistance in Poland and to build a pastoral center in Minsk, Belarus that will provide space for worship, catechesis, parish meetings, and accommodation for priests. The work done is always focused on human beings in need. They hope to continue to provide support and services for the faithful, especially in Minsk and Togliatti, Russia.
A representative from the Polish redemptorists will visit Mother Seton and St. Peter in Olney, MD this summer.
Women’s Religious Orders
1. Congregation of the Daughters of Mary-Tabora: Founded in 1933, the Daughters of Mary respond to their charism of love and service by engaging in different apostolates such as health care, education, pastoral ministry, social work, and development programs. Most of these ministries are run in rural areas throughout Tanzania to serve those in most need. The sisters run and teach in kindergarten, primary, secondary schools, and a boarding school for over 200 deaf children. They run hospitals (some of the sisters are doctors and nurses), clinics, and pharmacies. Funds collected from their mission appeal will support these ministries as well as help build a facility for their growing population of elderly and infirm sisters.
A representative from the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary-Tabora will visit Jesus the Good Shepherd and St. Mary’s of Piscataway this summer.
2. Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus: Formed in Nigeria, this order now has communities in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Italy, England, Germany, the U.S., Canada, and Grenada. The appeal donations directly benefit orphans, the visually impaired, and young adults in Nigeria, Cameroon and Sierra Leone that are under the care of the sisters for their feeding, clothing, and education.
A representative from the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus will visit St. Aloysius and St. Michael in Ridge, MD this summer.
3. Servants of the Poor, Dinasevanasabha: The members of this congregation devote themselves to the service of the poor by catering to their spiritual and physical needs. Their ministries include providing healthcare, education, and psychological support. These sisters are present in 49 dioceses in India, Germany, and the U.S. Funds collected will benefit their no-cost nursing homes for the elderly and boarding schools for children living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS in India.
A representative from the Servants of the Poor, Dinasevanasabha will visit St. Nicholas and Holy Redeemer in College Park, MD this summer.
4. The Benedictine Sisters of Christ the Light (Christu Jyothi): A congregation of Benedictine sisters, their charism is to radiate the light of Christ through their ministries by standing with the marginalized. They have a variety of apostolates, including a school for children living with speech and hearing impairments, providing scholarships to schoolchildren, a center for people living with intellectually disabilities, vocational training programs, and prison ministry in Kadapa, India. The mission appeal will benefit their ministries and programs.
A representative from The Benedictine Sisters of Christ the Light (Christu Jyothi) will visit Holy Angels and Sacred Heart Church and St. Peter in Washington, DC this summer.
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).