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Propagation of the Faith


Catholic Mission's Work with Communities

Founded in 1822 in France by Pauline Jaricot (1799-1852)

A savvy young woman with a vision for mission, Pauline Jaricot saw a need and made something happen.

Pauline originally joined the Paris Foreign Mission Society. However, she found it lacking in the area of raising finance.

She established a system with the workers of the industrial revolution. Although they received poor wages, they were paid regularly. Pauline recruited the factory girls from her brother-in-law's factory and collected from each one, every Friday, whatever they could spare.

Her brother, Phileas, sent this money to the mission for the rescue of abandoned children in China. Pauline then found a system that allowed her to expand this effort, while retaining its essential unity.

Groups of ten people and a promoter were formed. Each member paid a sou (a coin) a week; the leader would collect them and give them to the person who was in charge. This formed the basis of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

A meeting between the Bishops and Pauline took place where she insisted that monies collected be sent to where they were needed most, not just to one Society or mission. Thus it became a Universal Mission Aid Fund. The Society was approved by the Pope and became International in 1826.

In 1922, to protect its assets from confiscation by a hostile government in France, the Holy Father, Pope Pius XI, brought it under papal protection, along with the Society for Missionary Childhood and the Society of St Peter Apostle. It is now located under the umbrella of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

The Society works with local Churches to provide an ordinary subsidy for the day to day running of the diocese and to offer spiritual healing and practical assistance to the communities with the greatest needs.

It supports the young Church by responding to requests to help build chapels and churches, pastoral centres, clinics and hospitals and to provide medications, pastoral care and emergency relief.

Assistance is also provided for lay catechists in terms of formation, remuneration, and resources. All aid is respectful of the dignity and self-esteem of the recipients with the eventual aim of encouraging and developing independence.

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