Story and Photos By Beth Donze, Clarion Herald
More than 100 students from seven Catholic elementary schools and parish schools of religion gathered inside Dominican High School’s gym Oct. 19 to learn more about their baptismal calling to be missionaries.
The 28th annual Children’s Mission Day celebration, coordinated by the archdiocesan Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) office and held the Saturday before World Mission Sunday, reminded young Catholics that they can be real missionaries – at home and right now – through prayer, service, almsgiving and by learning more about their peers in other countries.
To foster solidarity, the young attendees prayed, played table games highlighting the recreational pursuits of children from around the world, sang and danced to praise and worship music and made Mission Rosary bracelets to take home. The bracelets feature color-coded beads that remind wearers to pray and make small sacrifices for children in every continent.
Members of the Mission Club from Immaculate Conception School in Marrero presented a skit entitled “Called Like Paul,” written by Academy of Our Lady teacher Carla Sumner and assisted by Immaculate Conception teachers Melissa Spano and Charla Dalton. The skit dramatized the conversion of St. Paul and his subsequent sowing of the “seeds” of our Catholic faith as a missionary in Turkey, Syria and Greece.
Father Jimmy Jeanfreau, archdiocesan director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church and a priest who served for five years in Bolivia, told the children about Pauline Jaricot, a French girl who founded the Society for the Propagation of the Faith at age 15 by forming small “giving circles” at her parents’ silk factories to support the work of missionaries. Father Jeanfreau also celebrated the day’s concluding Mass.
Music throughout the day was provided by pianist-organist Roberto Matthews, a local minister of music.