It has been over a year since we gathered in Houston, Texas for the Fourth Mission Congress. Thank you for being a part of that national gathering during a very historic moment in our history – the pastoral visit of Pope Francis to the United States of America.
As you may know, the United States Catholic Mission Association serves as the management team for the Catholic Mission Forum – the sponsor of the congress. It also took on extra burdens for the 2015 Congress since other organizations were dealing with the added responsibilities of the Papal Visit. Consequently, 2015 turned out to be a challenging year for USCMA; in addition to the Mission Congress, the national office moved the month after the Congress and there was a change in Executive Directors.
USCMA has been working to produce the proceedings for the Mission Congress. After lots of labor, and dealing with some unexpected technical problems, we have finally completed the proceedings for the 2015 Mission Congress.
I encourage you to download your copy today. It is easy to do. Just click here: 2015 Mission Congress Proceedings and download the PDF. If you prefer that we mail you a copy, we would be happy to for a small handing fee of $20 (includes a print copy of the proceedings, postage, and handling). To order a print copy through the United States Catholic Mission Association, click here and write Mission Congress Proceedings in the comment section.
While I was not able to attend the 2015 Congress, I read all the keynote addresses. Bishop Flores was very well received by the participants and I was deeply moved by his vision of church. I learned a lot from Sr. Margaret Guider, OSF and how mission has evolved through the papacies. Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP helps us appreciate the challenge of being a “missionary” in our own parishes, neighborhoods, and jobs. Dr. Carolyn Woo, President of the the Catholic Relief Services gave an in depth description of how CRS works, its priorities, and its relationship to mission. Finally, Fr. Jim Greenfield, OSFS wove together the various themes of the congress and sent us forth to “the ends of the earth.”
Finally, if you are not already a member of USCMA, I would encourage you to join us. We aspire to be a national coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to mission.
We believe that we are facing a tremendous change in how mission is understood, how we enter it, and how we integrate it into our lives as believers. Due to the third wave of globalization with instantaneous communication, rapid travel, and blending cultures, more and more people can be authentically involved in mission than ever before.
As with any great opportunity, there are also risks – especially to the people on the peripheries we are called to serve. By coming together in a national network, we can learn from each other, resource each other, encourage each other and support one another as we strive to be our best selves in mission.
An individual membership is just $40. It will probably go up in the New Year, so now is a great time to join. Organizational memberships begin at $200. You can join USCMA today by clicking HERE.
Thank you again for participating in the 2015 Mission Congress. We are already beginning plans for the 2020 Mission Congress. Feel free to drop me a note with your hopes and dreams for that gathering.
Prayers for a prayerful and grace filled Advent.
Together in Mission,
Dr. Donald R. McCrabb
Executive Director, United States Catholic Mission Association
Convenor, Catholic Mission Forum