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What is the Holy Childhood Association?

The Holy Childhood Association (HCA) 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, HCA 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 HCA differ from other organizations helping children in the Developing World?

HCA 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 HCA help only Catholic children?

HCA cares for children regardless of their religious affiliation.

Why doesn’t HCA participate in sponsoring individual children or families?

Contributions to HCA 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. HCA funds are distributed to help children in 110 countries throughout the world.

How are contributions to HCA 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 HCA’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 HCA 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 HCA’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 HCA programs in the United States?

Annually, more than two million young people, kindergarten through eighth grade, participate in HCA-sponsored programs in the United States through Catholic schools and parish religious education programs.

Why should my child participate in HCA?

All young Catholics have a baptismal responsibility to make Jesus Christ and His love known to others. HCA 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 HCA?

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 HCA 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 HCA’s mission?

Parents, guardians, parish priests, Religious Brothers and Sisters and lay people, especially teachers and catechists, play a vital role in HCA’s mission. With support from these people, children can learn about children in other countries through HCA programs and learn too the message of HCA — 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 HCA located in the United States?

HCA’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 HCA 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. For more information, contact the Pontifical Mission Societies in Boston using the information below 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.

How can I find out more about HCA and its programs?

Call, write or e-mail the Pontifical Mission Societies in Boston:
Rev. Rodney J. Copp, J.C.L., Archdiocesan Director
Pontifical Mission Societies
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184

Mrs. Maureen Crowley Heil, Director of Programs and Development
Pontifical Mission Societies
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184