As people the world over celebrated, commemorated and even criticized the tiny Albanian nun and her outreach to India’s poorest, many in India notched up their enthusiasm to an understandably high degree. Marianna Bartholomew has the news from a missionary priest in India.
Missionaries who have served with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, often find it difficult after they end their time on campus to find a community with shared Catholic values. At times, these departing and transitioning FOCUS missionaries and staff experience challenges as they move from campus into new workplaces, new parishes and new situations with family and friends.
Every year Michael Carrillo tries to take advantage of a hike that gives him a brief glimpse of what St. Junípero Serra’s band of missionaries might have experienced on their way to evangelize the mission fields of early California. He uses the hike as a pilgrimage to honor all missionaries, past and present.
Stuart Dunn reviews The Man Who Founded California, a biography of newly-canonized St. Junípero Serra.
Marianna Bartholomew learned about a brand-new saint on a family vacation. This saint’s story reminds us that if we pray and listen, God will lead our steps in our own unique voyage. Sometimes, he might lead us out of our comfort zone, but the rewards are great.
Marianna Bartholomew reminds us of the sacrifice that missionaries make for each of us. When missionaries visit our churches to tell their stories, let’s listen, learn, introduce ourselves to them personally, keep them in our daily prayers, and respond to financial needs generously.
As we hear stories of missionaries and their people from America and abroad, perhaps we can better offer our prayers and practical help. As we develop a living, practical friendship with our missionaries and the people they serve, we might discover we were thirsty for such a friendship, all along.