When I visited Grandma and Grandpa Keller I liked to find their magazine holder and read Life, Saturday Evening Post, and Extension Magazine. The latter was a monthly publication of the Catholic Church Extension Society. It always highlighted and promoted home missions. Today the society still focuses on the same goal. They use donations to financially support the presence of the Catholic Church in areas of our country that are in under-resourced and isolated communities.
When I was young I liked reading Extension because it had Norman Rockwell-like illustrations on each cover. To the right is a reproduction of one cover from 1955 that was published again in May of 2006 when the magazine was celebrating its centenary year. I chose this cover from among the ones I collected that year to illustrate a traditional May Crowning.
Not only did I enjoy the covers, but there was always something appealing for children inside. There were cartoons, like "Davey" and "Little Nuns." These and more were the creation of Joe Eichberger, who also worked as a Chicago Fire Fighter. His story was published in 2006 on the "Centennial Scrapbook" page.
Another of the "Centennial Scrapbook" pages featured Mary Higgins Clark. Extension Magazine published her first short story in March 1958! As most of us know, she is now a best-selling author and has sold more than 80 million books in the U.S. Her daughter Carol, who is also an author, was named for the lead character in Mary's Extension story.
I continue to receive Extension magazine. The covers are modern. Every issue tells stories about the home missions and the people who serve. These are places like coal mining towns in Kentucky, native lands in New Mexico, outposts in the Alaskan wilderness, and places in the deep South and across the Great Plains. Because I have a missionary spirit from the influence of my grandmother and my school teachers, I also give a monthly donation to the cause of the home missions. I encourage you to awaken the missionary spirit in your own way.