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175 Years of Catholic Mission

175 title175 history copyOne Woman's Vision
In 1822, Pauline Jaricot was a young woman with a vision. As the tide of the French Revolution was receding, the deeply religious 22-year-old from Lyons saw a need and sought to address it. Struggling mission areas in remote parts of the world needed funding, and Pauline took it upon herself to raise what she could.

Pauline’s work laid the foundations for what would eventually become the world’s largest mission agency. What began as collecting loose change from those who could spare it became a coordinated effort that today raises millions of dollars and forms people for mission all around the world.

Foundations in Australia
The Society for the Propagation of the Faith contributed funds to Australian mission areas very early on, and was sustained throughout the nineteenth century. In 1840, a large meeting of Catholics was held in Sydney to discuss the organised work of spreading the Gospel. The meeting was attended by several current and future bishops, including Bede Polding (Sydney), Dr William Ullathorne (Birmingham, UK), James Goold (Melbourne) and John Brady (Perth). The meeting unanimously adopted the Society of the Propagation of the Faith.
Check it out! The meeting gained some media attention at the time from the Australasian Chronicle and the Sydney Gazetteboth of which present quite different opinions...
The resolution to establish the Society in Australia was moved by the young Rev. Mr Goold, who moved that “besides an auxiliary Catholic Institute, it is expedient that we should form a branch of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, to be linked with the parent organisation in Lyons.” An Australian Society was imperative, said the future Archbishop of Melbourne, as “it was by its influence and the exertion of its members that the Sacred Truths of Christianity were spread far and wide over the surface of the globe.”

Reaching Out, Giving Life
Today, Catholic Mission operates in 160 countries worldwide, reaching out and giving life to those in need in 1,100 dioceses across Africa, Asia, South America and the Pacific, including remote Australia. With a network of diocesan offices around Australia, Catholic Mission receives support from thousands of generous donors in every state and territory. They fund our work with communities, children and Church leaders throughout countries most in need.

Our work has seen lives change for the better in some of the most diverse mission areas on the planet. From the icy plains of Mongolia to the bustling, feverish streets of Chennai in India, millions have felt the warmth of Catholic Mission’s support. Our mission is simple: locally and globally, we answer the call to love God and to love our neighbour, and work to establish the Reign of God through:

  • Building communities of missionary disciples who share their faith by proclaiming the Word, serving people in need and acting for justice and creation; and
  • Adopting child-focused, community-based development programs as the starting point for breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty and inequality.

Compelled by the message, life and love of Jesus Christ, Catholic Mission forms Australians for mission and raises funds for mission - in Australia and around the world.

Tomorrow's Mission
Catholic Mission is now in the midst of one of the most exciting periods of renewal and growth in its 175-year history. With the unveiling of a new strategic plan in 2013, and a shift in how we assess and fund the many projects we support here and overseas, Catholic Mission is now in a better position than ever before to reach out and give life to millions of people in need around the world.

We are continually growing and maintaining our loyal donor base and training our focus on specific project areas so that funding goes to where it is needed most, just as Pauline Jaricot envisioned all those years ago.

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