Haven’t see mite boxes in a while? I hadn’t myself, so I was pleased when Sr. Pauline Chirchirillo, PBVM Director of the the New York Office of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, offered the boxes, along with coin cards and envelopes, to the directors and coordinators of our parish religious education programs.
During Lent, the children in the parish programs will have an opportunity to help other children around the world through the Missionary Childhood Association, formerly called the Holy Childhood Association. At the same time, they will be learning a lesson about sacrifice by giving up something for Lent and putting the money they would have spent into the mite box or one of the other holders. At the end of Lent, their monies will go to the Sr. Pauline’s office and from there to the Missionary Childhood Association for distribution.
There’s nothing to stop us grown-ups from doing something similar. In the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office, we decided that we could help Sr. Pauline and the Association ourselves simply by dumping our excess change into a Holy Childhood collection bucket, which Sr. Pauline was happy to supply. We are not a large staff but we all seem to have a lot of change. That bucket is filling up.
What about doing the same thing in your home? Yes, of course, many people already dump their change into a box or vase and then take it to the bank. You could do that. Then you might write a check for the amount to the Missionary Holy Childhood Association and mail to Sr. Pauline at this address: The Office for the Propagation of the Faith, 1011 First Avenue, 17th floor, New York, NY 10022.
Or, you (and we in the Catechetical Office, too!) could emulate the children. Choose something to give up and add the price of that to the spare change in your container. Maybe this doesn’t seem like much of sacrifice but it’s do-able. That’s important to keep in mind. Taking on a big sacrifice that you won’t be able to sustain or that will drive everyone around you crazy is not such a good idea. An uncle of mine used to give up alcohol for Lent each year. By the First Sunday after Ash Wednesday, his wife was ready to give him up.
The mite box idea is something any of us – from the youngest to the oldest – can do.
A blessed Lent.