While contributing his own money for foreign missions through the Propagation of the Faith, Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson shared his hope of establishing an organization to aid the children of China with his friend Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. She suggested appealing to the children of Europe to help their sisters and brothers in other countries, and so began the work of the Holy Childhood Association – young people in service to mission youth around the world. In 1922, HCA was given the title Pontifical.

Now called the Missionary Childhood Association in the US, the Association is established in more than 130 countries in the world. MCA promotes mission and global awareness among school age children.  MCA is unique to other organizations that assist children 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.

MCA is the official missions program in the Diocese of Harrisburg for elementary schools.


Receive monthly from September- May an email packet of mission-related activities including MCA calendar, prayer service, mission country and mission saint, plus other missions resources including seasonal (Advent, Lent).  Sign up here.



For schools and parishes in the Diocese of Harrisburg who wish to order the current school year materials (posters, prayer cards, mite boxes, envelopes, rosaries), please place your order through the Diocesan Missions Office using the attached MCA Order Form.

MCA Donations Remittance Form

Download our 2021-2022 Missionary Childhood Association Handbook (for teachers and catechists) for an overview of the program.

About MCA: MCA, A History of Helping.

Additional support is found in the Mission Education Guidelines for teachers and catechists, produced in 2012 by the national Missionary Childhood Association.

Seven Ways to Help Our Children Love the Missions

Prayer for the missions is one of the pillars of MCA.

Read more about the World Mission Rosary as a way of praying for the missions world.

World Mission Rosary Activity Packet

Children’s Prayers for Missions

Congratulations to our diocesan winner in the 2021-2022 MCA Christmas Artwork Contest: Gabriel Fink from St. Leo the Great School, Lancaster!

His artwork will be displayed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, throughout the 2022 Advent/Christmas season. An awards ceremony at the Shrine is traditionally held for all finalists and their families.

In the last 9 years, the Diocese of Harrisburg has had 12 winners in this national contest from:

Our Mother of Perpetual Help School, Ephrata (2)
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Ephrata (2)
Sacred Heart of Jesus School, Lancaster (3)
St. Columba School, Bloomsburg (2)
St. John Neumann Parish, Lancaster
St. Leo the Great School, Lancaster (2)

Thank you to all the students who submitted artwork!



Twenty-four winners will be selected in the 2022-2023 Missionary Childhood Association Christmas Artwork Contest.  Their artwork will be displayed at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., where  winners and their families are treated to a special day with awards, Mass, lunch, and tours of the Shrine  during the 2022 Advent/Christmas season.

Deadline is January 31, 2023.

Official Entry Form

Each year, 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 of the world.

Bishop’s Mission Award for the 2021-2022 School YearOn September 21, 2022, at the virtual Education Conference, Mr. Dan Breen, Diocesan Secretary for Education, announced the winner of the Bishop’s Mission Award for the 2021-2022 school year:

Our Mother of Perpetual Help School in Ephrata, PA.

The school’s principal is Mrs. Peggy Snyder, and the Mission Moderator is Mrs. Natasha Pickett.

Five other finalists are also recognized for their contributions for the 2021-22 school year:

  • Our Lady of the Angels School, Columbia
  • Sacred Heart School, Lewistown
  • Sacred Heart School, Lancaster
  • Corpus Christi School, Chambersburg
  • Joan of Arc School, Hummelstown

Congratulations to these schools and to all educators who have made it a priority to help instill a missionary spirit in the hearts and minds of our young people!

Want to make a difference?

Missionaries throughout the world continue to serve those in need, especially during these challenging times. Thank you for answering the call to the ‘missionary spirit’ through your support of this holy work of the Church.


Fr. Robert Sharman

Diocesan Director Office of Pontifical Missions

Office: 717-657-4804 x240

Karen Harding

Administrative Assistant Office of Pontifical Missions and Missionary Childhood Association Coordinator

Office: 717-657-4804 x240