The church on Earth is by its very nature missionary since according to the plan of God the Father, it has its origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Vatican Council II established that the Pontifical Mission Societies should occupy a central place in missionary cooperation. There are four societies that make up the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS): The Pontifical Mission Societies of the Propagation of Faith (POF) The Pontifical Mission Societies of Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) The Pontifical Mission Societies of St. Peter the Apostle (SPA) The Pontifical Missionary Union of Priests and Religious (PMU) The Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) also known as the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) was founded in France in 1843 by Bishop Charles de Forbin- Janson and it was made pontifical by Pope Pius XI in 1922, so it enjoys the protection and patronage of the Pope.
The motto of the MCA is “ *CHILDREN HELPING CHILDREN* ” while the slogan is “ *WITH CHILDREN ALL OVER THE WORLD…WE ARE ALWAYS FRIENDS’’.* It is a formation group comprising of children below the age of fourteen (14) years. It is a Catholic Association specifically for children. We have animators (teachers) working with and for our children in various parishes. We also have activities for the children at the parish, deanery, archdiocesan and national levels each year and these activities include: Presentation of the Child Jesus in families, Lenten and Advent Retreats, Charity Visitations, Children’s Day Celebration, Study Session for the School of Missionary Animators (SOMA), Enrolment Ceremonies and the Annual Rally with the Archbishop of Lagos. The children are taught to pray the Mission Rosary for the children of the whole world, to share with children who do not have through the Mission Bank and are given the Activity Calendar which contains various activities that guide them each day.
Aims and objectives of the Missionary Childhood Association.
• To awaken in every catholic child a strong sense of commitment to Jesus Christ and a zeal for the spread of the Good News everywhere by: Deepening one’s faith Living it faithfully And sharing it joyfully
• To prepare the catholic children to be joyful in their faith and share it with their other brothers and sisters at school, at play or any point in their lives.
• To encourage children to pray, to be loyal to their elders, and to bring together all children in a worldwide fraternity.
• To spread the Good News of Jesus far into the remotest corners of the world by drawing their attention to the spiritual as well as the material needs of the children throughout the world. To help their children with their prayers, sacrifices and offerings.
• To care about children of other ethnic groups and other races and religions, to pray to our common Father for His children and to share generously.
• To inculcate the spirit of giving and charity into the hearts of the children by sharing what they have with other children who have nothing through the Mission Bank. In Lagos Archdiocese, the Association was formally established in 1993 by the then Archbishop, Most Rev. Anthony Olubumi Okogie. The first parish of her establishment is Regina Mundi Parish, Mushin. At inception, few people (clergy, religious and laity) showed interest. Many parents did not want their children to enroll in the MCA, because they thought that it was just another group like others in the church. It took a lot of preaching and patient waiting before some parents started to allow their children to join. Many priests, religious and lay faithful are now better disposed towards providing for the MCA in their parishes. The enrolment (inauguration) ceremony conducted by the PMS Director in parishes gives the children a special recognition and a sense of belonging.
Thus, the biggest MCA event in the Archdiocese is the yearly MCA Rally with the Archbishop which was started in 2006. It has become the most attractive event to which all children look forward to every year. As part of the growth of the MCA, we now have some of our activities on Lumen Christi TV such as the Holy Mass for the children, the Mission Rosary, the Angelus etc and we held our first Children’s Day Celebration (Maiden Edition) at the Holy Cross Cathedral on Thursday, 27th May, 2021. Subsequently, more articles from our children and animators, pictures and news from the Missionary Childhood Association will be published in this column of the Catholic Herald Newspaper. The Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Lagos Archdiocese are Very Rev.Msgr.BernardOkodua (1999-2020) and Rev.Fr.Simeon Irabor(2021- present) The Archdiocesan Coordinators of MCA from inception till date are: Rev. Sr. Emmanuella Ladipo (HHCJ), Rev. Sr. Patricia Obuavwodo (EHJ), Rev. Sr. Pauline Umeh (SHCJ), Rev. Sr. FaustinaEjeagu (SHCJ) and at present Rev. Sr. Doris Gali (SHCJ).
To create an enabling environment For prayer, moral and biopsychosocial development For the Catholic Children of the Archdiocese and position them better for a fulfilled life in Christ.
To inculcate in every Catholic child The spirit of prayer and fruitful sacrifice in imitation of Jesus So that other children May experience the love of Jesus and thus be drawn To an active participation in ecclesial life
Social media handles
Website: www.pmslagos.org Facebook page: MCA Lagos Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org Office line: 08080118162