In his Message for World Mission Sunday 2010, Pope Benedict invites parish communities to be “champions of the newness of life made up of authentic relationships in communities founded on the Gospel.” With his keen eye and his shepherd’s heart, the Holy Father makes an observation about our times and emphasizes a mission for all of us: “In a multiethnic society that is experiencing increasingly disturbing forms of loneliness and indifference, Christians must learn to offer signs of hope and to become universal brethren, cultivating the great ideals that transform history and, without false illusions or useless fears, must strive to make the planet a home for all peoples.” We do this best, of course, when we are most like Jesus and strive to make Him known and loved. The lonely and indifferent people of our times are asking Christians to reveal Jesus to them, even when sometimes they are not aware of it.
“To make the face of the Redeemer shine out in every corner of the earth before the generations of the new millennium and especially before the young people of every continent, the privileged ones to whom the Gospel proclamation is intended” is, in the words of the Message, our mission.
We educators—parents, guardians, teachers, catechists and pastors—proclaim this Gospel message to the young people entrusted to our care and they, in turn, become missionaries of their peers. One of the best ways I can think of to be missionary to our students and form them as missionaries is through the Mission Education programs produced by the Columban Fathers. All of our programs contain age appropriate, grade specific themes on mission and stories about missionaries that can lead Catholic children to a deeper understanding of their own baptismal commitment to mission. In our Journey With Jesus School Program, lively, insightful videos, appealing music, teacher-friendly manuals, unique, colorful posters—all bring alive the mission of Jesus and how we can live out His call today. I encourage you to visit the Journey With Jesus section of our website to learn more about the program and watch the trailer(s). You can also order the program on the website.
The Journey With Jesus Parish Program, which was launched in September 2009, is drawn from the school program and contains one lesson per grade rather than the five that comprise the school program. And, although most of the DVDs contain music, a separate music CD is not part of the parish program. This program, too, can be ordered on the website under order programs.
In addition to Journey With Jesus, we offer a variety of materials, programs, prayer cards and posters for youth and adults, as well as vacation bible school, religious education and RCIA. These resources can also be explored and ordered on the website. All programs are available both on loan and for purchase.
You will be happy to learn that we are in the process of developing four units designed for adults which can be used in conjunction with the parish and school Journey With Jesus programs or on their own. These should be available before long.
If you have questions, want to order materials by phone, need help ordering materials through the website, or want more information about our Companions in Mission, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Mission Education Director