Tag Archives: Missionary

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

The Power of an Invitation // Do the Incredible

As I watch this video, I wonder how many men are bored with their lives. I remember I was. I was still in the Air Force, hungry for something more, but I didn’t know what it was. I wanted my life to mean something. I think all men want to do something great with their lives. I think it’s wired within us. I don’t know of too many men who wake up saying, I want to be mediocre, I want a boring life.

I see a lot of men today trying to save their lives, their lifestyle, their comfortability, but in doing so, are bored, maybe even lifeless. Feeling trapped in a job they don’t like, but feeling it’s their only option because they are in debt trying to pay off a degree that led them to this “dream” job.

Man Enough? 2_Man Enough Countdown Day1 copyYesterday as we celebrated Pentecost, I thought about those first twelve men. I wonder if they were bored being fishermen and tax collectors, they too, feeling trapped that this was their only option. This is what all the men in their family had done for a living. It’s been in the family for years, how could they leave this job and do something else? Then they encountered Jesus. Game changer. One invitation. Come and follow me. They left everything and followed him.

As I read the gospels and the stories in Acts of the Apostles, I wonder if they were bored with their lives. Healing the sick, helping thousands to come to know the love of the Lord. Watching Jesus perform miracle after miracle, raising the dead. If you have been waiting for the invitation, here it is. Come. Do something incredible with your life! Become a foreign missionary, and never be bored or unsatisfied again!

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 16:25

By Erik Martin: Catholic Missionary

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A Conversion of Individuals

Christ spent three years forming 12 men.

Those men went on to change the world.

Of course, Christ also preached to larger groups such as in the Sermon on the Mount. However, these occurrences are much less common in scripture, and the impact they had on the people is seemingly much less than the impact Christ had on his disciples. That is, we don’t hear about the people He preached to after the episode is over, what influence Jesus had on their souls in these large settings was not enough to merit mention at any other point in scripture. 

But we do know what happened to the 12 men Jesus personally formed. They went on to found a Church of over 1 billion people.

In our time there is a renewed emphasis on evangelization, the most common form of which takes place en masse. Groups are continually founded with the best of intentions for impacting the universal Church and spreading the gospel. Efforts to make the Church “cool” or, a somewhat better term, “relevant” to the youth are an increasingly common endeavor undertaken by well-meaning and passionate Catholics.

Yet despite these efforts, we see people continuing to fall away from the Church. We witness people who were in love with God leaving the faith. There is a rise of “Cafeteria Catholics,” those who pick and choose which of the Church’s teaching they will accept and believe, and which they will reject.

Christ spent 3 years forming 12 men.

Jesus did not emphasize His large group interactions. Rather, in close relationship with those 12 men, He lead, instructed, and formed them.

We, the modern Church, now see these men all of the time.

We know them and their stories.

All but 1 of them are saints.

But we never see the crowd from the Sermon on the Mount.

We know that the crowd was affected; it even says so at points in scripture. Yet if such instruction were the best or proper way to save souls, wouldn’t we see Jesus doing more of it?

Wouldn’t we hear about these people later in scripture? Or in the history of the Church?

There may be a place for evangelizing en masse, however, often these endeavors, by the nature of their work, unintentionally shift their focus. By emphasizing the work of missionaries and outreach in an attempt to reach more people, we end up feeding a sort of pride. Edifying those who spread the gospel then places an emphasis on them, rather than on those who are receiving God’s word. This necessarily redirects us from spreading a faith of love to celebrating the individual achievements of someone who impacted a certain number of people, rather than celebrating the return of the 1 lost sheep.

Indeed, impacting large numbers of people is a good and worthy thing. Indeed, large crowds leave, affected by moving words. This also happens in scripture.

Yet, just like in scripture, we don’t tend to see the crowd again.

Just like in scripture, we give a rousing chorus; only to find ourselves facing the same people years later screaming “crucify him!”

In our preaching to large crowds, we’ve planted seeds, but in a garden we know nothing about. Will they be tilled and nourished? Will they be able to grow into solid trees of faith? Or will they fall on good soil only to find that there is no solid root network to sustain them?

Indeed, more and more people are falling away from the Church. More and more people embrace “Cafeteria Catholicism,” more and more Catholic marriages follow the way of secular society in divorce and adultery.

And we continue to preach en masse.

We will never know how those souls could have better embraced or kept the faith. That is the travesty, the danger, of such outreach. The danger that these souls not only fell away, but that we introduced them to the faith, yet gave them no way of holding on to it.

True conversion happens when the heart has an encounter with beauty such that it cannot bear to be away from it again. How can we expect a true conversion of souls when we interact with people as numbers to be effected rather than as individuals to be formed?

It seems that the faith is something meant to be formed in individuals by individuals. In the humble breaking of bread together, in the formation, admonition, mentoring, and leading of 1 person closer to God, just as Jesus did for 12 men over 3 years.

We must step away from the flashy appeal of mass affect and embrace St. Therese’s “Little Way,” recognizing that in making humble relationships, we will change the face of the Church and the World as we know it.

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.