RSS

Tag Archives: missionary

“THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES TO MEET US AND KINDLES FAITH IN US”

“On … Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, let us prayerfully reflect on some of the words contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Holy Spirit.

‘The HOLY SPIRIT comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.’ (Section 683).

‘The Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the plan for our salvation. But in these ‘end times’, ushered in by the Son’s redeeming Incarnation, the Spirit is revealed and given, recognised and welcomed in a person. Now can this divine plan, accomplished in Christ, the firstborn and head of the new creation, be embodied in mankind by the outpouring of the Spirit: as the Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.’ (section 686)

The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:

• In the Scripture he inspired;

• In the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are already witnesses;

• In the Church’s Magisterium, which he assists;

• In the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us in communion with Christ;

• In prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;

• In the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;

• In the signs of apostolic and missionary life;

• In the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation (section 688).”
– From “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris” (June 2014)

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MISSIONARY LIFE IN OUTBACK AUSTRALIA IN AN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY

ALICE SPRINGS, AUSTRALIA

“A year in ministry at Santa Teresa, near Alice Springs, has been a steep learning curve for Good Samaritan Sister, Anita Brennan, and one thing she has learnt is that while ‘we can’t fix everything’, a simple ministry of presence and hospitality plays a key role in the life of the Aboriginal community, reports ‘The Good Oil’. ‘One of the important learnings that I have had is how significant the land is for the Aboriginal people; the heritage of their ancestors; their source of natural foods and medicine and their sacred places,’ she says.

Sister Anita Brennan was educated in secondary school by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan at St Brigid’s Marrickville, and from that experience says she felt a strong call to join the Congregation. When she entered the novitiate 53 years ago, at almost 18, she never dreamed where it would eventually take her – from teaching, leadership positions in schools and the Congreagation, to study opportunities in Chicago, Israel and Canada, a counselling ministry, and now to outback Australia to live in an Aboriginal community.

MISSIONARY LIFE: WORTHWHILE AND VARIED LIFE

‘I would see my ministry at the moment as being a ministry of hospitality, a ministry of presence to people, and also a ministry of spiritual companioning.’

‘We have about five local women coming. We’ve got two people who came here as lay missionaries over 40 years ago and two Divine Word Missionary priests, and Liz and myself,’ she says.

‘Every Thursday evening we have dinner here and they all come. It’s a form of connection for the locals, to be able to talk about things, to get together. And it’s also good for us.’ Earlier in the morning, Anita was at the Community Care Centre, helping the women of the community to organise their bingo morning.”
– This article was published in “Don Bosco’s Madonna” issue September 2013. For subscriptions and donations please visit http://www.donboscosmadonna.org (external link) or http://www.dbmshrine.org (external link).

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

THE CLASSIC “PRAYER FOR GUIDANCE”

TO BE PRAYED GENERALLY AS A DAILY PRAYER AND MORE SPECIFICALLY WHEN ONE IS DISCERNING ONE’S VOCATION AND OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS IN LIFE.

Lord, show me clearly what You want me to do with the gifts You have given me. Grant me the strength that I need to answer Your call with courage and love. Make me a generous person so that others may experience Your love through me. Help me always to look to You to show me the way to lead my life. Amen.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“DEEP, SIMPLE FAITH” – A SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF ST ARNOLD JANSSEN

“St Arnold Janssen, SVD (5th November 1837 – 15th January 1909) was a priest and missionary, best known for founding the Society of the Divine Word, also known as the Divine Word Missionaries, as well as two congregations for women.

Janssen was born in Germany, one of 11 siblings. His deep, simple faith led him to study theology and he was ordained to the priesthood in 1861.

For a while he taught physics and catechism at a secondary school but his real passion was the mission. In 1867 he became the director of the Apostolat des Gebets for Germany and Austria and founded a scientific institute in Moedling, near Vienna.

The Kulturkampf, however, hampered his efforts, and Janssen purchased land in the Netherlands to begin his seminary, dedicated in 1875 as the St Michael the Archangel Mission house.

Within a few years, many seminarians, priests and brothers were preparing for missionary service there. Janssen also founded two congregations of religious sisters: The Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters in 1889, and the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters in 1896.

He and fellow missionary Joseph Freinademetz were canonised on 5th October 2003 by Pope John Paul II, as was Daniele Comboni, an important missionary in Africa. Janssen was canonised after the healing of Pamela Avellanosa, a Filipina teenager, who was expected to die after a bike accident. She was healed miraculously following prayers to Janssen.”
– This article entitled “Heroes of the Faith” was published in “The Catholic Universe”. For subscriptions, please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link)

 

Tags: , , ,

“ST LAURA TEACHES US TO WELCOME ALL WITHOUT PREJUDICE, WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION”

“Last Sunday, Pope Francis celebrates his first Mass of Canonization, giving the Church new saints. One of the new saints is St Laura of St Catherine of Siena, born Maria Laura Montoya y Upegui…

St Laura was born in 1874 in Jerico, Antioquia, Columbia, the second of three children. During the Columbian Civil War of 1876, St Laura’s father was killed and the family was left in poverty. St Laura was sent to live with her grandmother and at the age of 16, in order to help with the family finances, she went to receive training to become an elementary school teacher. This training took place in Amalfi and Medellin.

Beginning in 1908 St Laura worked as a missionary to the native people in theUraba and Sarare regions of Columbia where she founded the ‘Works of the Indians’. Even though she wanted to become a cloistered Carmelite nun, St Laura felt growing within her the desire to spread the Gospel of Jesus to those who had never heard of Him and to destroy the racial discrimination that existed around her. In 1914 St Laura started the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Mary and of St Catherine of Siena. She left Medellin with four sisters and went to live in Dabeira with the native Indians. This was a difficult work but St Laura persevered.

Illness hit St Laura hard and for the last nine years of her life she had to use a wheelchair to move about. St Laura died after prolonged illness in 1949. Today her missionary sisters work in 19 countries throughout America, Europe and Africa.

In his homily at the Mass of Canonization, Pope Francis said of St Laura, ‘This first saint, born in the beautiful country of Columbia, teaches us to be generous with God, not to live our faith alone – as if it were possible to live faith in an isolated way – but to communicate it, to convey the joy of the Gospel with words and the witness of life in every place in which we find ourselves. Wherever we live let this light of the Gospel shine! St Laura…teaches us to welcome all without prejudice, without discrimination, without reticence, with sincere love, giving them all the best of ourselves and above all sharing with them what is most precious to us, which is not our works or our organisations, no! Our most precious possession is Christ and his Gospel.’
– From: “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris”

 

Tags: , , ,

SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF ST PETER CHANEL, PATRON SAINT OF OCEANIA

“One of the saints remembered by the Church today, 28th April, is St Peter Chanel. He was born in 1803 near Cuet in France. He studied for the priesthood at the seminary for the Diocese of Belley. After ordination he served in two parishes and then went to Rome to found a new order, the Society of Mary. St Peter professed his vows in this young community in 1836 and then realised his dream of becoming a missionary.

He sailed with six others and, after a ten months journey, landed on the remote island of Futuna in the South Pacific, 1,300 miles northwest of New Zealand. Only 1,000 people lived on the island, which was split into two kingdoms, which often were at war with each other. St Peter worked hard in often difficult situations and learned the local language, cared for the sick and baptised the dying.

Initially King Niuliki welcomed St Peter but then he became hostile on hearing that some of his people were becoming Catholics. This worsened when the King’s own son, Meitala, became a Catholic and started to go against the old ways and traditions. Meitala’s mother spoke angrily with her husband, the King, telling him about what Meitala had been doing. The next day King Niuliki spoke with his son, trying to persuade him to go back to the old ways, but his son remained adamant that he wanted to be a Catholic.

After this, aware of the King’s anger, other members of the family travelled to where St Peter was living and gained entrance by pretending that someone needed help. They viciously attacked St Peter and a cry went out to murder him. St Peter died at the young age of 37. When St Peter died, having been on the island for three years, only a few of the islanders had converted to Catholicism. However, within two years of St Peter’s martyrdom the whole island had converted to the Catholic Faith and today the population of Futana remains entirely Catholic. St Peter Chanel was canonized a saint in 1954 by Pope Pius XII and was declared the protomartyr and Patron Saint of Oceania.”
– From “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris”

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PRAYER TO ST PETER CHANEL

ST PETER CHANEL, PRIEST AND MARTYR; MEMORIAL: APRIL 28

Born in France in 1803, St Peter Chanel did pastoral work there for a few years after ordination, and then entered the Marist Society and was sent to Oceania. There was considerable resistance to missionaries at the time, though he did receive a few converts into the faith before he was clubbed to death on the island of Futuna in 1841.

PRAYER:

Father,
you called Saint Peter Chanel to work for your Church
and gave him the crown of martyrdom.
May our celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection
make us faithful witnesses to the new life he brings,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,