‘Flying Missionaries’ to Benefit From Air Show at Pocono Raceway September 17

Date: September 7, 1972
Location: Hazelton, PA
Newspaper: Standard-Speaker
Page: 13

The “Flying Missionaries of the Sacred Heart” in New Guinea will be the principal beneficiaries of the Wings of Hope Air Show to be held at the Pocono International Raceway, Mt. Pocono, September 17, at 2 p.m.

Founded in France in 1854, the Catholic society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) now totals 3,000 priests and religious brothers.

The society has been involved in foreign mission work since 1880 in the South Pacific islands, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Japan, Africa, and Latin America.

Although the U.S. branch became a full-fledged province in 1939, World War II prevented it from undertaking this work until 1946. In that year the first group of six American MSC priests went to the territory of New Guinea in order to help the German MSC missionaries there to rebuild the churches, schools, and hospitals destroyed during the Japanese occupation and to fill the ranks of mission personnel depleted by war casualties.

Nine From Pennsylvania

During the past twenty-six years a total of 33 priests and 6 brothers from the U.S. province has served in New Guinea, building up the present diocese of Kaveing. New Ireland, which covers several islands in an area of over 85,000 square miles in the northern part of the territory.

Of the 21 missionaries working there now, nine priests are from Pennsylvania: Fathers Philip Kelly, Henry Einhaus, Joseph Muller, and Anthony Ripp, Philadelphia; Fathers Martin Kopunck and William Jones, lansford; Father Peter Vavro, Coaldale; Father Vincent Fresh, Pleasant Valley; and Father Joseph Gleixner, Reading.

Built Churches, Schools, Etc.

It was Christian missionaries – mainly Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Baptist and Lutheran – that not only brought Christian faith and ethics to most of the two million primitive, stone-age natives of New Guinea, but also brought a civilizing and progressive force to these people by helping them with education, vocational training, agricultural instruction, and health care. Missionaries built church for worship, but also built schools, hospitals, sawmills, factories, roads, and airstrips.

Besides mission work in New Guinea and in Colombia, South America, the Apostolate of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in the U.S. include parishes, retreats, educational facilities, special preaching assignments, and hospital chaplaincies.

The provincial administration office is at Aurora, Ill. Seminaries are located at Center Valley, Pa.; Watertown, N.Y., and Chicago, Ill.; other major houses are in Youngstown and Shelby, Ohio; Reading, Pa. and Oceanside, Cal. Local parishes served by the MSC are in Nazareth and Revere, Pa.

The Wings of Hope Air Show headquarters have been set up at 520 Seip Ave., Nazareth, Pa. (Tel. 759-2404). Tickets for the show at $3 for adults and $1 for children6-13 may be purchased there, at other advertised locations, or at the raceway itself on the day of the show.

CAPTION: How to fly when all the airline seats are taken? This young girl from the Mason-Dixon Airshow troupe demonstrates that riding on the wing of an airplane is possible, though a bit breezy. She will perform this stunt at the Pocono International Raceway on September 17.

Scroll to Top