Each year at the Diocesan Education Conference, the Missionary Childhood Association of the Diocese of Harrisburg acknowledges the special achievements made by an elementary school whose students have demonstrated exceptional mission awareness and Christian concern for children in developing countries. During the 2019-2020 school year, the COVID pandemic interrupted the MCA program and the award was not given.
This year, the Office of Pontifical Missions is grateful to again be able to resume this tradition. “The Bishop’s Mission Award” was presented by the Diocesan Director, Father Robert F. Sharman, to Our Lady of the Angels School in Columbia on a picture-perfect autumn day at Holy Trinity Church following the recitation of the World Mission Rosary by the school. Mrs. Amanda Young, principal, and Mrs. Michelle Detz, Mission Moderator, received the award. This marks the fifth year in a row that Our Lady of the Angels has received the award.
On the altar were five candles in the World Mission colors (yellow, red, white, blue and green), signifying the areas of the world where the Church continues her evangelizing mission. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who designed the World Mission Rosary, said that when you finish praying the World Mission Rosary, you have “embraced all continents, all people in prayer.”
The Missions Office gives free World Mission Rosaries to our Diocesan children to encourage prayer for the missions.
The Mission Office also acknowledges the efforts of the five runners-up during 2020-2021:
- Our Mother of Perpetual Help School, Ephrata
- John Neumann School, Lancaster
- Margaret Mary School, Harrisburg
- Sacred Heart of Jesus School, Lewistown
- Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School, Coal Township
The Missionary Childhood Association thanks our Diocesan children for everything they do throughout the school year to extend God’s kingdom to children in mission lands, upon whom the pandemic was especially hard.
For more information about the World Mission Rosary, visit www.hbgdiocese.org/missions.
(Karen Harding is the administrative assistant for the Diocesan Office of Pontifical Missions.)
By Karen Harding, Special to The Witness