From early in our history in the United States, the Capuchins have considered missionary work as part and parcel to our service to the church in local communities. This is rooted in our history: eight centuries ago Francis Assisi wrote his first Rule, becoming the first Founder of an Order to place “missionary activity” in his Rule. The first Capuchins incorporated his words literally into the Constitutions of 1536. Today, the Order is present in 106 countries around the world.
The Province of St. Mary's mission is to reach those who do not know, have forgotten, or abandoned the Gospel. This often means going to areas where no one is willing to go, even living in precarious conditions.
Our Missionary Activity includes working in Japan, Central America, India, Africa and beyond, and includes:
• Evangelizing and teaching the Catholic faith
• Establishing new churches and dioceses
• Encouraging, forming, and training local vocations as brothers and priests.
• Reaching out to the poor and hungry, to widows and orphans, and to so many suffering from HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
We define missionary service as a proclamation of the Good News of salvation to those who do not believe in Christ and as a service to the "young churches." By serving the cause of the Kingdom in this way, the missionary makes the universality of the Church visible and reveals the innovative force of Christ's Gospel, which knows no frontiers.