I remember being age less-than-ten and taking very seriously the mandate to pray for our missionaries. I pictured them as something slightly less than She-Ra, amazing people who would leave the country, go out to where there was both no electricity and lots of scary reptiles, and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Then I grew up, put my religion aside, and moved along to bigger priorities, like passing college classes and getting ahead in the world.
In the last decade since I’ve become Catholic, the heart I had for missionaries as a little girl has come back to me. When I hear a missionary priest at Mass, I inevitably find myself dusty in the eyes. (And it seems perhaps I’m not the only one, though my husband neither confirms nor denies any observations I make to this effect.) When I meet amazing people who serve as missionaries, I find myself curious and interested and…invested somehow.
Enter Colleen Mitchell. She’s recently joined our team of contributors here at CatholicMom.com as a World View Wednesday writer. On her blog, “Blessed Are the Feet,” there’s a chronicle of someone who’s giving her life in ways I’m so blessed to read. She says,
I wear a lot of hats in my daily life, but the most important thing to me is to live the love of Jesus with all my heart. In this space, I work out what that means in words, share about our missionary adventures, and occasionally tell a funny story or two. Welcome! I hope you will make yourself at home, join in the conversation, and come back again.
And did I mention that she and her husband founded a nonprofit, St. Bryce Missions?
When Greg [Mitchell, Colleen's husband,] traveled to Costa Rica on business in early 2010 and discovered the Tayutic region and the Cabecar people, the Mitchells felt that God was showing them the first community that St. Bryce Missions was to serve. With the permission and support of Bishop Michael Jarrel of Lafayette, Louisiana as well as Bishop Jose Francisco Ulloas Rojas of Cartago, Costa Rica, they and their five sons became the ground team in the area in January of 2011 and have been carrying out full time the work of Christ-centered community transformation there ever since.
Well, let’s get to it, shall we? We have an awesome blogger to meet!
Tell us about your blog in five words or less.
Catholic missionary tells her tales.
Why did you start blogging?
Originally, I began a blog to write about our lives as Catholic, homeschoolers, my life as a mom of many little ones who all happen to be of the male persuasion, and to catalogue the joys of our lives together. I left that blog behind when we headed to the mission field two years ago and began a new space where I talk more about faith, about life as a missionary and the lessons it teaches me, and about justice and global issues.
Why do you keep blogging? What’s your inspiration to continue?
I continue to blog because I need to write. This life I live is intense and beautiful and heartbreaking. The things happening in the world around us are equally so. Writing and blogging offer me a way to work out embracing the broken beautiful of it all. And I love that in doing so, I find new people to connect with, share stories with, and, hopefully, bless people and inspire action in others to do what they can to live and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth (and to the corners of their neighborhoods).
When you think of the New Evangelization as a Catholic blogger, what excites you? What makes you want to continue?
I love that blogging connects me a group of people who are constantly pushing on to the next new method available to spread the Good News. I always feel challenged and encouraged by other bloggers to keep reaching farther with the medium of technology. In John Paul II’s encyclical on mission, Mission of the Redeemer, he says the work of the foreign missionary should bless both the Church to whom she is sent and the Church from which she goes out. Blogging gives me an opportunity to connect with the North American Church and share the blessing of my mission with them. It completes the circle of the New Evangelization and, for me, that is truly rich and exciting.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your blogging?
The most rewarding aspect of my blogging has been allowing others a chance to see and meet the faces and hear the stories of the people I love and serve.
In your spare time, what are we likely to find you doing?
Well, mission and ministry and life as a homeschooling mom to five boys fill most of my days, but when our schedule allows open space, I love to curl up in a corner and sip chai and read and or find a quiet spot at the river to journal. And I am forever grateful that the internet allows me to catch up on Cake Boss and Downton Abbey.
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Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard