Friday 18 May 2018

Missionaries on Wheels

May 18th is International Museum Day and we are also approaching Toronto Bike Month (today is National Bike to Work Day in the United States). So we thought it would be topical to feature a museum-style display we exhibited a few years ago featuring missionaries on two wheels.

ARCAT Staff Photo

"Missionaries on Wheels" archival display in the lobby of the Archdiocese of Toronto Catholic Pastoral Centre, September 2009.
The display features photographs and letters from the Pastoral Mission Fund. 

The Pastoral Mission Fund (PMF) is an charitable agency supported by Archdiocese of Toronto. It was established in 1982 "to assist missionary sisters and priests of parishes and indigenous orders with small projects and programs directly related to evangelization and strengthening of the Roman Catholic faith...[A]llocations are made in support of missionaries working at a grassroots level in the developing nations in Africa, India, Vietnam, South America, Haiti, and Oceania."

Allocations are commonly used to purchase bicycles, scooters and motorcycles. These vehicles provide the most efficient and economic way for missionaries to visit villages and outstations in their pastoral care. After receiving funding, the missionaries send back photographs and letters to the PMF as part of the reporting process.

Therefore, when the Archives receives records from the PMF, the files are full of photographs of missionary sisters and priests displaying their new wheels.

Here are some of the photos and extracts from letters that we featured in the display above:

This Victoria Day long weekend, visit one of the many museums, galleries and historic houses in the GTA. And remember to inflate your tires for Toronto Bike to Work day on May 28th!

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