I was surfing for information about the RCIA when I ran into this old photograph.
Since the organization of the church extension movement, the American society has expended over half a million dollars in missionary work. It has made about seven hundred gifts and loans to poor missions, and has had about five hundred and fifty chapels built in places where no Catholic Church or chapel existed previously and the scattered people could attend Mass only with great difficulty. Both societies have been educating many students for the missions, and both have circulated much good Catholic literature. The American society operates a “chapel car” (donated by one of its members, Ambrose Petry, K. C. S. G.), which carries a missionary into the remote districts along railroad lines, preaching missions and encouraging scattered Catholics to form centres with their own little chapels as beginnings of future parishes. The Holy Father has particularly blessed this chapel car work, and has given a gold medal to the donor of the car and to the society in recognition of its usefulness. Another chapel car, much larger and better equipped, is now about to be built. The society has interested itself very greatly in the missionary work of Porto Rico and the Philippine Islands, and has achieved substantial results. The Canadian society has been very active in saving the Ruthenian Catholics of the Canadian North-West to the Faith, against which an active war has been waged, especially by the Presbyterians. It was principally through the publicity given to this activity by the Canadian Society that the situation was brought to the attention of the bishops in Canada, who at the first Plenary Council decided to raise $100,000 for this work. The American society’s first quinquennial report shows splendid progress, and the present situation of both societies gives promise of great things to come. A remarkable thing about the church extension movement is the ready response of the wealthier class of Catholics in the United States to its appeals. Some very large donations have been given. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is raising a fund of $50,000 for chapel building, and the Women’s Catholic Order of Foresters $25,000. The directors intend to erect a college for the American mission.