“At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place He intended to visit” (Luke 10:1).
Jesus seeks out each human person and every community. He came to save every one of us and to redeem the whole world. So He “intends to visit” everyone in every place! Are we preparing the way for Him? Do we join with fellow Christians to lead others to an encounter with the Lord Jesus?
The Church is missionary at its heart, called to bring the Gospel to every nation (cf. Matthew 28:19). But this is not limited to those who have committed to become missionaries in foreign lands. All the faithful have a responsibility to evangelize, to bring the Good News of God’s love and mercy to everyone they meet, as Pope Francis explains in his message for World Mission Sunday 2016:
The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy … invites us to consider the missio ad gentes as a great, immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material…. [A]ll of us are invited to “go out” as missionary disciples, each generously offering their talents, creativity, wisdom and experience in order to bring the message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family. By virtue of the missionary mandate, the Church cares for those who do not know the Gospel, because she wants everyone to be saved and to experience the Lord’s love…. [A]s I noted in my Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “Each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey His call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the light of the Gospel” (20).
This does not mean that we have to become street-corner preachers, but rather that we witness to our faith by word and action in all aspects of our lives. This can be as simple as being good spouses and parents, standing up for what is right at work and in the political arena, or inviting friends to consider joining the Catholic faith.
But we do also need to support those who work “in the missions”, where the Gospel has not been heard or has shallow roots. Each year our Diocese invites various missionary organizations to visit parishes to tell them about their ministries and ask for spiritual and material support for their work. The weekend of July 23-24, Holy Family will welcome Mr. Tom Chitta of the Foundation for Children in Need, a Catholic lay organization based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Mr. Chitta, co-founder of FCN, is very happy to visit us and share about their mission work in the interior villages of southern India. FCN sponsors 2500 children and college students. They have been responsible for building several schools, boarding homes, a community health center, and a home for the elderly. They provide free medical check-ups and medicine to thousands of needy people and children. To know more about their mission work, please visit www.fcn-usa.org. Thank you in advance for your generosity (for which Holy Family is so well known!) in supporting this work, which embodies the mercy and compassion of Christ.
This coming week, we will have training sessions for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. We are still in great need of new EMs to assist us in the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass and to the homebound. If you feel the Lord is calling you to this wonderful ministry, please visit our website to sign up, or contact Deacon Doug. New ministers need to attend both training sessions: Practical training will be held on Thursday, July 7, at 7:00 pm in the church, and theological training will be offered on Saturday, July 9, at 10:00 am in Room 205 of the Parish Life Center. (Existing EMs are, of course, welcome to come to these sessions for a refresher!) My thanks go to those who have already responded and attended training last month – we look forward to serving with you! And many thanks to all those who have been giving of themselves so generously in this ministry – may your reverence and love for our Eucharistic Lord bring you an abundance of blessings.
Many thanks to all who made our celebration of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, such a beautiful event. I would like to note especially Msgr. David Toups, who gave a beautiful homily inviting us to imitate St. John the Baptist and our Blessed Mother, and, after Mass, an inspiring story of his vocation; Sr. Joan Gabbin, Becky Jarboe, and Joe Helow, who did much to plan and coordinate the celebration; the Cenacolo Community, for leading the beautiful recitation of the Rosary; and Don Moynahan and his crew for preparing the reception following Mass. Well done, all!