He tells stories from the missions, and the faithful listen patiently.
We know what he’s here for. He wants us to feel guilty for living such prosperous lives. He wants us to empty our pockets for the poor people in some foreign country that we maybe haven’t even heard of.
We make a donation, and then promptly forget about the missions until the following year.
That’s not how it should be.
I chatted yesterday with a missionary priest, Fr. Robert Pallichankudy, who serves in the mission of Manaus in the Amazon. He reminded me of two truths about our lives as Catholics and the missionary calling.
One, all the baptized are called to be missionaries.
Most of us won’t travel to foreign lands, but that shouldn’t stop us from allowing a missionary spirit to form our lives. Our day-to-day existence, whatever it may involve, gives each of us real opportunites to share Jesus and His message with others.
Two, we are all called to support the work of missionaries who proclaim the Gospel around the world.
Giving support to our missionaries in developing countries is not an option; it’s a mandate.
I like to say that our missionaries are the very hands and feet of Christ. They are serving the poor and proclaming the Gospel. And from my understanding, the Scriptures and Church teaching are pretty clear on this. Those two tasks are pretty much the essence of Christian living.
Since I started here at PIME Missionaries as their Communications Director, I’ve begun looking at missions and missionaries in a fresh way. No longer will I think of them once a year when a visiting priest comes to town. Of course, I have the advantage of working with them every day. But I now feel a clear calling to share their stories in a broad way, and to remind my brothers and sisters that the missions need our thoughts, prayers and support year-round.
Want to do something for the missions TODAY? You can.
1. Right now, thank God for the missionary priests and brothers who do His work.
2. Offer a prayer or some small suffering for a missionary.
3. Visit our website at pimeusa.org to find out more about our programs.
4. Don’t forget that you, too, are called to be a missionary in your daily life. Set an example. Do good and avoid evil. Walk the walk.
Make a difference.
Cathy Adamkiewicz, Communications Director and editor of PIMEWorld Magazine.