FAQ - Missionary Childhood Association

Frequently Asked Questions
► What is the Missionary Childhood Association?
The Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) is one of four Pontifical Mission Societies active in some 110 countries throughout the world. Founded in France in 1843 by Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson, MCA helps to animate the young faithful to a universal missionary spirit and to gather support from these children for the service of the local churches of Africa, Asia, remote regions of Latin America and the Pacific Islands among the poorest of the world's children.
► How does MCA differ from other organizations helping children in the Developing World?
MCA is unique to other organizations that assist children in the Developing World in that its primary aim is to encourage children to share their faith with children in the Developing World through their prayers, personal sacrifices and financial offerings.
► Does MCA help only Catholic children?
MCA cares for children regardless of their religious affiliation.
► Why doesn't MCA participate in sponsoring individual children or families?
Contributions to MCA are allocated to mission dioceses throughout the world according to need. This system of allocating funds helps ensure that aid is distributed fairly and that those who are most desperately in need receive enough support. MCA funds are distributed to help children in 110 countries throughout the world.
► How are contributions to MCA distributed?
Once each year, National Directors of the world’s Pontifical Mission Societies meet in Rome to review requests for funding from mission dioceses throughout the world. All mission dioceses receive an ordinary subsidy based on the total amount of money available from MCA’s general fund. Sometimes, mission dioceses ask for additional funds to help support such projects as building schools or orphanages or buying books and medical supplies.

Grants made in response to these requests are known as extraordinary subsidies. These extraordinary subsidies are also allocated based on need. Once provided, the bishop of each mission diocese that receives this aid administers the funds, and send reports to MCA national offices to describe in detail how the funds are being used to help children. Funds collected in the United States are distributed directly to the missions. No money is sent to Rome.
► How much of my child’s contribution is used to support the work of the Church in the Missions?
Eighty-seven percent of MCA's annual funding in the United States is used for the Church’s service among children in the Developing World and to provide mission education materials to children in the United States.
► Who participates in MCA programs in the United States?
Annually, more than two million young people, kindergarten through eighth grade, participate in MCA-sponsored programs in the United States through Catholic schools and parish religious education programs.
► Why should my child participate in MCA?
All young Catholics have a baptismal responsibility to make Jesus Christ and His love known to others. MCA helps young people understand the universal nature of the Catholic Church and recognize that they are missionaries today, in prayer and sacrifice, reaching out to children in the missions.
► How do children raise money for MCA?
Some children work in groups sponsoring walkathons, raffles, talent shows, car washes or other creative events to raise money for their brothers and sisters in need. Some children make substantial personal sacrifices by sending money to MCA that they received for mowing lawns or babysitting; others share their allowances or birthday gift money.
► What else can children do to help the Missions?
Children can offer their prayers in support of missionaries and the work of the Church in the missions.
► How can adults support MCA's mission?
Parents, guardians, parish priests, Religious Brothers and Sisters and lay people, especially teachers and catechists, play a vital role in MCA’s mission. With support from these people, children can learn about children in other countries through MCA programs and learn too the message of MCA -- that children are and can be missionaries today, called to share their faith and their love, in prayer and sacrifice, with the poorest of the world's children.

In addition, financial contributions from adults help to underwrite the cost of education materials for children in the United States and also help support the Church's service to children in the Developing World.
► Where are the offices of MCA located in the United States?
MCA's national office in the U.S. is located in New York City at 366 Fifth Avenue. Monsignor John E. Kozar is the National Director. Each U.S. diocese has an MCA director, who is appointed by the local bishop.
I would like to serve as a lay missionary.

► What should I do?
There are a number of local and national organizations that help “connect” lay Catholics to mission opportunities in the United States and abroad. Contact your diocesan mission office for more information or contact the Catholic Network of Volunteer Service (CNVS).

Catholic Network of Volunteer Service promotes opportunities for men and women of all backgrounds and skills to respond to the Gospel through domestic and international volunteer service to people in need. CNVS connects volunteers and missioners with more than 200 faith-based programs offering more than 10,000 full-time volunteer placements throughout the U.S. and in over 115 countries.
► Are there other organizations through which I can support the work of the Catholic Church in the Missions?
To learn more about supporting the work of the Church in the Developing World visit:
Catholic Relief Services or
Aid to the Church in Need
► How can I find out more about MCA and its programs?
Call, write or e-mail your diocesan office or the
national office.
► Our Commitment:
“Carrying out the mission of promoting and protecting the rights of children and caring for their spiritual and physical well-being has been the concern of various agencies of the Catholic Church for centuries. One of those agencies, the Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood has led the way for more than 150 years.

Without discrimination of race, culture or religion, members of the Missionary Childhood, including children and young people themselves, share their bread and faith, and have given aid to millions of children, providing food, clothing and health care, protection, security and education. The Association continues to finance and support some 4,000 projects for the neediest children of the world.”

► Archbishop Renato R. Martino, Vatican Nuncio to the United Nations, Addressing the U.N. General Assembly on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children - October 14, 2002


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