In our latest blog, Gerard Gough reflects on his work with Missio Scotland - feeding the mind, the body and the soul.
MISSIO Scotland is an organisation that I’m extremely proud to represent as communications officer. In that role, I’m privy to all the good work that the Pontifical Mission Societies around the world are engaged in – and that makes me very aware that all the good work the Catholic Church does worldwide often goes unnoticed. So let’s look at some amazing statistics.
Throughout the world, the Catholic Church runs 73,263 nursery schools with 6,963,669 pupils; 96,822 primary schools with 32,254,204 pupils; 45,699 secondary schools with 19,407,417 pupils. The Church also cares for 2,309,797 high school pupils, and 2,727,940 university students.
Catholic charity and healthcare centres run around the world by the Church include: 5034 hospitals; 16,627 dispensaries; 611 care homes for people with leprosy; 15,518 homes for the elderly, or the chronically ill or people with a disability; 9770 orphanages; 12,082 crèches; 14,391 marriage counselling centres; 3896 social rehabilitation centres and 38,256 other institutions.
The Pontifical Missionary Societies, through the work of its missionaries worldwide, often have a direct link to providing education and care - so by supporting Missio Scotland, you play your part in the Universal Church, living out your own personal call to be a missionary (an integral part of our faith) and directly helping the Church to give life and hope to people all over the world.
Missio Scotland is the Scottish branch of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), the official mission charity of the Church. It is the Pope’s own charity, run by Scotland’s Bishops and it continues the mission of Jesus Christ in the world by reaching out, giving life and calling all people in the world to faith, justice and love. We operate in 180 countries to support initiatives in more than 1100 dioceses on five continents, with a special concern for Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the poorest parts of Latin America and Europe. As an organisation we are active, not re-active, and our services are called upon 365 days a year.
Our work is varied and includes: tending to the poor and disadvantaged peoples of the world; providing shelter and improving living conditions; building hospitals and clinics and providing access to treatment; and building schools and providing access to education.
However one of the things that makes us stand out as a charity is the fact that we not only provide for people’s physical requirements, we also cater to their spiritual needs too. We do this by supporting seminarians, religious and catechists in the missionary dioceses throughout the world, both spiritually and financially. That is particularly important as, in the past, Scotland has sent many priests to missionary dioceses worldwide to bolster the Church there, but now we find ourselves in a situation where we may need the assistance of missionary priests to strengthen the Church here in future. We also assist in building churches and providing Bibles, rosaries and other religious materials to enrich the spiritual lives of people worldwide.
Each of these many strands is as important as the other. Supporting Missio Scotland (www.missioscotland.com
) means we can continue to be a source of love, hope and joy for our brothers and sisters in faith for many more years to come.