Tag Archives: missionaries

Joachim

Guest post by Br. Gregory Liu, OP.

Just a few days ago, I heard about the death of a brother, a Dominican priest, Fr. Joachim Li, OP who on June 27th, died at the young age of 32. While enjoying his day off at the seaside in Rome, he lost his life successfully rescuing and saving two swimmers from drowning. Fr. Joachim’s heroic death reminded me of the story of his patron saint, St. Joachim Royo, OP, a Dominican missionary martyr in China. As Fr. Joachim gave up his life to save the two swimmers, St. Joachim gave up his life to save the souls of many.

St. Joachim Royo, OP was born around 1691 in Spain. In 1708, he joined the Dominican Order in Valencia. Filled with the zeal to preach the Gospel to the end of the world, he arrived in Manila in 1713. There he finished his studies and was ordained as a priest. St. Joachim arrived in China in the spring of 1715. In the missionary territories of southeastern China, he not only baptized many, but he formed the newly baptized converts into Dominican tertiaries and lay catechists. During the persecution of the early Qing Dynasty, he went into hiding in the wilderness and caves. Only in the cover of the night, was he able to administer sacraments for the faithful. While in prison, he continued his penitential practices, even going as far as asking the prison guards to whiplash him! He finally gave the ultimate witness of faith in Fujian, China in 1748. St. Joachim’s heroic life is just one story out of those of the 108 martyrs in China (33 of which were missionaries), whom we commemorate on July 9.

Even now, there are countless missionaries making all kinds of sacrifices, even risking their lives, so that people may hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How can you help? First of all, you can pray for them. As St. Thérèse of Lisieux wrote in 1896, to Fr. Adolphe Roulland, MEP, who was about to be sent to Sichuan, China,

“Distance can never separate our souls, even death will only make our union closer. If I go to Heaven soon, I shall ask Jesus’ permission to visit you in Sichuan, and we shall continue our apostolate together. Meanwhile I shall always be united to you by prayer…”

If you hear the Lord’s call to be a missionary yourself and go to Asia, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Brother Gregory Liu, OP works with the St. Francis Xavier Lay Missionary Society, which prepares and sends missionaries to spread the Good News throughout Asia, in the footsteps of the great Jesuit.

Image: 120 Martyrs of China

Chosen by Jesus to Proclaim the Good News: One Filipino Family’s Call to Missionary Life

By Joseph Summers

Here at Family Missions Company (FMC) we are constantly blessed to see the transforming power of the Gospel! When our missionaries share God’s Word and Truth in sincere love for the poor whom they serve, God shows up and changes lives. This was the case last year, when Sammy and Lindsey Romero from Abbeville, with their two beautiful kids in tote, teamed up with Sarah Carroll from Carencro and a couple other single missionaries from FMC to bring the Gospel message to the poorest of the poor in Malaybalay, Philippines. God worked wonders through their “Yes” and used their witness to welcome 36 people into the Church through the waters of Baptism! The Leaño family is a living testimony to what authentic Catholic living can do, read their amazing story below:

Lay Catholic Missionary, Catholic Missions, Family Missions Company, Missionaries, Families, Gospel, Poverty, Preaching, Evangelization, Foreign Missions, Great Commission, Matthew 28, Jesus, Laity, Christian

Last year, we were invited to an Easter Sunday celebration by a group of FMC missionaries. We didn’t realize that God had planned that day to change our lives forever.

Before that day, we were so far from God. Both of us come from broken families without any Catholic foundation. I grew up exploring other religions, and Ramon never practiced any faith.

That same week we started attending a Bible study with the FMC missionaries. For the first time, we felt the Holy Spirit, and we realized that God’s words in the Bible are powerful and alive. We realized that it wasn’t too late to accept Jesus as our Savior and to invite him to rule over our lives. After that, we couldn’t stop praising Him and loving Him. We reconciled ourselves with Him, got our babies baptized, got confirmed, and got married in the Church all within a couple of months!

For the past year, we have been helping the FMC missionaries in the Philippines. Many of them have gone on to other missions, but we are always here to continue God’s will. We started Floors for the Poor with the Romero family, completed building and livelihood projects with the Eckstine family, and ministered in the jail and in the community with the Alvarez family. We also started a kids and youth ministry in our parish. We offered our family to God’s service however we could. Working in our hometown of Malaybalay has always been a blessing for us, but soon we realized that God was calling us out of our comfort zone to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel” (Mark 16:15). We prayed a lot about it, and we have said YES!

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We recently participated in FMC’s Summer School of Missionary Evangelism in the Philippines, which reaffirmed our call to give our lives to becoming missionaries. Now we together with our two children are preparing to .

Family Missions Company is a ministry dedicated to spreading the gospel and serving the poor both here in Acadiana and globally. FMC trains and sends out singles and families, who have heard the call of Jesus to leave everything behind and follow him. Could God be calling you to bring His love to those far away?

Come and be inspired for missions at this year’s Proclaim Conference.

Watch the Promo: PROCLAIM 2013: the Catholic Missions Conference

Join us World Missions Sunday weekend, Oct. 18-20th at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, in Lafayette, LA for a weekend of inspiring talks, dynamics liturgies, and the encouragement YOU need to preach the Gospel to all creation! The conference will feature Archbishop Rivas, Ralph Martin, Deacon Ralph Poyo and more!

Register @ www.Proclaim2013.com

Proclaim reaches out to those who have never heard the Gospel message! It starts with your attendance. Every penny of profit from this conference will be used to spread the Gospel in Asia by supporting missionaries like the Leaño Family.

Proclaim seeks to stir up the Church’s missionary zeal, so that all Catholics will be inspired to live, share, and preach the Gospel! To learn more about the conference visit www.Proclaim2013.com or call 337.893.6111.

 

More than a Feeling: One Missionaries’ Honest Reflection in Calcutta

By Rebekah L.

Lay Catholic Missionary, Catholic Missions, Family Missions Company, Missionaries, Families, Gospel, Poverty, Preaching, Evangelization, Foreign Missions, Great Commission, Matthew 28, Jesus, Laity, ChristiI’ll let you in on a little secret. Missionaries aren’t always enthusiastically happy. We get tired and crabby. We lose our tempers. We inwardly groan when there’s one more knock at the door. Sometimes the last thing we feel like doing is leading another retreat or helping another beggar.

I was planning to write a wonderfully insightful, inspiring post about volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. Like how I experienced the intimate presence of God among the poorest of the poor. But He had a different lesson in store for me.

I’m weak. I’m selfish. I’m a mess. I need Him.

In Calcutta, I came face-to-face with my fickle emotions. We’re all familiar with the ups and downs of daily life. God originally planned for our spirit, mind, body, and will to work together in beautiful harmony. But when sin entered the world, this harmony was broken and our emotions became disordered. I feel this effect of sin every day. When the sun is shining, I’m all set to head to the after-school tutoring class in the slum. But give me a rainy afternoon, and it’s an uphill battle to drag myself out of the house. When I’ve had a good night sleep, spending an hour with Jesus is the highlight of my day. If I’m tired or annoyed, prayer feels like endless minutes ticking uselessly by.

Mother Teresa is one of my heroes. Her profound love for Jesus in the poor has inspired me for years. I’d dreamed of “Calcutta” as this larger-than-life place that instantly transforms people into saints. I was expecting to be filled with exalted angelic feelings as I worked in Nirmal Hriday, a home for the destitute and dying. Like somehow walking in Mother Teresa’s footsteps would imbue every action with deep significance.

Very quickly the rose-tinted glasses began to crack. My feelings were everything but holy and loving. I was tired. I was hot. I was completely overwhelmed by the crowded, noisy, polluted city. At Nirmal Hriday it was a struggle to keep my mind on the task at hand. I felt frustrated and inept. Yes, it was Christ who we served in these women, but I still gave an inward shudder at changing adult diapers, cleaning wounds, and wiping drool. I felt like I was doing “small things,” but without “great love.”

Lay Catholic Missionary, Catholic Missions, Family Missions Company, Missionaries, Families, Gospel, Poverty, Preaching, Evangelization, Foreign Missions, Great Commission, Matthew 28, Jesus, Laity, ChristiAs I prayed about what a mess I was, I read one of Mother Teresa’s quotes: “That we feel repugnance is but natural, but when we overcome it for love of Jesus we may become heroic.” Disliking diapers and drool was natural! It wasn’t a sign of failure. The key is what we do with the feelings of repugnance and discouragement. Do we call it quits or persevere? Are we consumed by our own weakness, or by God’s strength? The “small things” Mother Teresa talked about are usually monotonous, dirty, and unrewarding. But they’re the secret of holiness. Doing them anyways. Doing them when you don’t feel like it. Doing them with Jesus and for Jesus.

Lay Catholic Missionary, Catholic Missions, Family Missions Company, Missionaries, Families, Gospel, Poverty, Preaching, Evangelization, Foreign Missions, Great Commission, Matthew 28, Jesus, Laity, Christi What is great love? The world says that it’s a rush of warm, tender feelings. Christianity says that it’s the Cross. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. God showed us that love is an action, a decision. It’s practiced in service and self-sacrifice. The saints unanimously agree that love and suffering go hand-in-hand. Sometimes God gives us feelings of consolation, sometimes He withholds them. It’s our actions, not our feelings, which are true indicators of love. This doesn’t mean that the Christian life is dark and dreary, though. Just the opposite; it’s full of light and joy! But the deep joy of knowing Christ is completely different from the passing emotional highs of the world.

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There’s great grace in choosing to love when tender feelings are absent.  The inconstancy of my emotions forces me to my knees. It reminds me that I’m weak and in desperate need of God’s strength.  My love will wax and wane, but His remains ever steadfast.

I went to Calcutta hoping to learn Mother Teresa’s secret. In an unexpected way, I did. Without Jesus, I’m nothing. As our weeks of service went on, I continued to offer Him all the little things, and ask Him to provide the love, patience, and perseverance that I lacked. I repeatedly prayed, “Jesus, I’m doing this because I love you. I need your help, your grace. I can’t do it on my own.” And He answered my prayers. Minute by minute, He gave me the strength and focus to actively choose to love.

By Rebekah L.