My Dear Friends:
Being a missionary is an essential part of being a Christian. In the Great Commissioning at the end of gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples and tells us: “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations… (MT 28:19).” Each of us are called to be missionaries, to bring Christ into the lives of others, and to spread the love of Christ in word and, more importantly, in deed. Too often we think of missionaries as the bold Catholics who take the gospel to far off lands, but make no mistake, we must be missionaries here in our parish, our school, our homes, and our work.
But today we do bring in the missionaries from foreign lands here to the parish to remind us that the church extends far beyond our parish boundaries. Last week at the conclusion of World Youth Day, Pope Francis pointed out the beautiful symmetry of having the next World Youth Day in Seoul, South Korea in the Far East after celebrating it in Lisbon in the western tip of Europe. He said it speaks to the universality of the Church. We must always be aware of our brothers and sisters in Christ who practice their faith in every corner of the world. Many do so facing great hardships like persecution, war, or great poverty. Yet the faith of the poor and the persecuted moves mountains because they cling to the one thing, the one person who can never be taken away from them: Jesus Christ!
This Sunday, we welcome the missionaries from Amor en Acción (Love in Action). Many of them are parishioners here at Little Flower, and while they usually go to other parishes in the country to make their missionary appeal, the Archdiocesan Mission Office assigned them to come this weekend to our parish to tell us about the work they do in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Here’s a little more information about them from their website:
Amor en Acción is a missionary community of the Archdiocese of Miami, formed in 1976 by a group of young immigrants. They were inspired by the principle of “faith without actions is dead” (James 2:14), seeking ways to share that love they experienced in Christ with those living in poverty and suffering oppression.
The group was officially established as a lay missionary community, working early in the Dominican Republic with the blessing and sponsorship of then Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy. In 1979 his direction and guidance led Amor en Acción to begin collaborating in Haiti, as the missionary arm of the Archdiocese of Miami in its Sister Diocese relationship with the Diocese of Pot-de-Paix in Haiti. Today with the blessing and guidance of Archbishop Thomas Wenski, that relationship of solidarity with our Sister Diocese continues, and also in other areas in Haiti and in Dominican Republic.
It is the personal encounter in Christ experienced by members in short term mission trips and ongoing reflection, which fuels the missionary zeal and also the long-term commitment to projects of evangelization, education, nutrition, and development. Amor en Acción continues to be primarily a volunteer missionary effort, enriched by its roots in a migrant story, and called to live mission in ordinary life, in extraordinary ways.
These missionaries are extraordinary as they take care of our brothers and sisters on the island of Hispaniola. I ask you to listen to their remarkable witness because much like their name, this is the Church at work bringing the love of Christ to very impoverished places.
Now usually, a second collection would be taken up to help the missionaries of our parish, but since we had a second collection last week for our seminarians, and since these poor brothers and sisters are in dire need of our help, the parish is going to donate $10,000 from our COTLF Charities. You have been amazingly generous when it comes to contributing to the poor box over the last few months, which allows us to give those monies directly to the poorest of the poor. If you would personally like to give an extra donation to Amor en Acción, you can do so online by scanning the QR code below.
I would also like to invite you to seriously consider joining Amor en Acción on one of their mission trips, or any of the other wonderful missionary groups we have in the Archdiocese. I know that just this summer, we have had many young people from our parish, many of them alumni from our school, participate in the Blue Missions and the Belen Youth Missions. We are so proud of these young people for following Jesus’ mandate to bring his love to the entire world especially to the poorest among us.
God bless you all,
To make an additional gift in support of Amor en Acción, please click here and make a donation to the Missionary Co-Op Appeal Fund.