"We Bring the Missions to You"

Father Jerry Hackenmueller of Unbound preached at Epiphany over the weekend, offering parishioners the opportunity to partner with the organization in serving the poorest of the poor. Unbound was founded in 1981 by five Catholic laypeople who were stirred by the Church’s social teaching. It began as a way to assist families in the developing world, with a particular emphasis on allowing children to receive an education. “You know what happens to little boys when they’re not in school?” Fr. Hackenmueller asked us. “Everything. But nothing good.”

Approximately 130 million children worldwide are engaged in child labor, a practice that prevents children from receiving an education and perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Unbound supports families in 18 developing countries, providing financial support that allows them to keep their children in school rather than pulling them out to work. Unbound also provides assistance to the aging. Fr. Hackenmueller described the enthusiastic response of an 84-year-old woman he met in Latin America, who — courtesy of Unbound’s financial support — had just slept in a bed for the first time in her life.

Both children and the elderly receive support via monthly sponsorship payments of $36 per month. You can search for someone to sponsor at this link; if you wish, you can select a particular age range or country of residence. Fr. Hackenmueller quoted the newly canonized St. Paul VI, who encouraged laypeople to recognize the obligation conferred on them by baptism to strive to meet the world’s needs. “Charity towards all,” St. Paul VI exhorted us, “especially towards the lowly and the poor.”

—Image of Guatemalan schoolgirls from Wikimedia Commons

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