Tender hearts with a mission


HARMONY: Students from the San Diego Diocese’s elementary schools participated in the colorful Missionary Childhood Association Mass on March 12 at Good Shepherd Parish. (Credit: David Maung)

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SAN DIEGO — Every year, Catholic school students learn about a country where missionaries are helping children in need. They are invited to put into practice their baptismal call to be missionary disciples.

After learning about the great needs of the world’s poorest children, the students are encouraged to pray for them and to offer financial help so that they may know Christ and experience His care.

The diocese’s Missionary Childhood Association Mass brings many of the students together during the Lenten season. This year, the liturgy was held on March 12 at Good Shepherd Parish. Around 350 students from 25 elementary schools turned out, many dressed in attire reflecting their cultural roots. They were accompanied by principals, teachers and chaperones, bringing the total to more than 650 people, said Sister Eva Rodríguez, a member of the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, who serves as director of the Missionary Childhood Association in the diocese.

Auxiliary Bishop Michael Pham, who celebrated the Mass, told the students that it was important to share the blessings in their lives with the needy.

“We recognize that everything comes from God,” he told them. “And God, through the person of Jesus Christ, gives us so many blessings in our lives.”

For information about the Missionary Childhood Association, visit

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