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Missionary Childhood Association

Missionary Childhood Association (MCA)

formerly the Holy Childhood Association

A French Bishop, Charles de Forbin-Jansen, began the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) in 1843 as an organization of “Children Helping Children.”

While contributing his own money for foreign missions through the Propagation of the Faith, Bishop Forbin-Jansen 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 1926, HCA was given the title Pontifical. Now the Missionary Childhood Association, MCA is established in mission lands in more than 60 nations of the world. MCA promotes mission and global awareness among school age children. For more information: MCA, A History of Helping.

Q. How does MCA differ from other organizations helping children in the Developing World?

A. 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.

Q. Does MCA help only Catholic children?

A. MCA cares for children regardless of their religious affiliation.

Sign up for MCA Monthly Email Activities

Each month from September- May, a packet of mission-related activities including MCA calendar, prayer service, mission country and mission saint, plus other missions resources. Sign up here.

Ordering MCA materials (for the Diocese of Harrisburg):
For schools and parishes in the Diocese of Harrisburg wishing to order the 2017-18 school year resources, please place your order through the Diocesan Missions Office using the attached MCA Order Form.

New to teaching about mission?
Download our 2017-18 Missionary Childhood Association Handbook (for teachers and catechists) for an overview of the program.

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

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR DIOCESAN WINNERS of the 2015-16 MCA Christmas Artwork Contest!

Artwork detail from the Manger Scene by Madeleine Suhrbier, Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Ephrata, and Mother & Child by Evan Sloane, Mater Dei Community, Harrisburg.

Madeleine Suhrbier and Evan Sloane from our diocese were selected from among thousands of young artists as winners in the 2015-16 National MCA Christmas Artwork Contest. Their original entries are displayed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, throughout the 2016 Advent/Christmas season. On Friday, December 2, 2016 an awards ceremony at the Shrine was followed by Mass and lunch for all finalists and their families. Thanks to all our students who submitted artwork! Entry form for this year’s contest is found below.

The Missio Facebook album is the exclusive location to view all the winning entries.

Official Entry Form Twenty-four winners will be selected in the 2017-18 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. during Advent/Christmas 2018 season.

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.

On September 20, 2017, at the Diocesan Education Conference at Bishop McDevitt High School, Reverend Robert Sharman, Diocesan MCA Director, announced Our Lady of the Angels School, Columbia, as the recipient of the 2016-17 award. Bishop Ronald W. Gainer presented the plaque to the school’s Mission Moderator, Mrs. Michelle Detz.  This is the second year in a row that Our Lady of the Angels achieved this honor.

Mrs. Amanda Young is the school’s principal.

Five other schools are also recognized for their contributions for the 2016-17 school year:

  • Sacred Heart of Jesus School, Lewistown
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School, Coal Township
  • Our Mother of Perpetual Help School, Ephrata
  • Saint Anne School, Lancaster
  • Saint Andrew School, Waynesboro

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!

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