Pontifical Mission Societies
The Pontifical Mission Societies were given the title “Pontifical” in 1922 and have special responsibility in the Universal Church. They are under the direct canonical jurisdiction of the Holy Father who, together with the entire body of Bishops, remind all the faithful of their baptismal call to mission and to offer financial support through the Pontifical Mission Societies for more than 1,111 mission dioceses in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. The Pontifical Mission Societies are:
- The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, which seeks prayer and sacrifice for foreign missions to support pastoral programs, catechetical work, building churches, health care and education;
- The Missionary Childhood Association, which enables youth to participate in the mission work of the Church through education, prayer and support, from children to children across the continents;
- The Society of St. Peter Apostle, which supports the education of candidates for the priesthood in the developing world and the formation of religious men and women in mission dioceses; and
- The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious, which encourages and forms missionary awareness in all priests and religious women and men so that they cultivate a missionary spirit in their ministries.
The Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) is an additional missionary society, which serves the poor throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe. CNEWA works for, through, and with the Eastern Catholic churches to identify needs and implement solutions. Together, they build up the church, affirm human dignity, alleviate poverty, encourage dialogue,and inspire hope.