Categories: Podcast

Episode 13. Father Robert Jalbert, Duty in the Cold War, Mission in East Africa

 

Reflections from a missioner’s life as a Cold War intelligence officer to his dedicated mission work serving the poor in Kenyan and Tanzania.

Today we sit down with one of the most recognizable and respected Maryknoll Missioners and U.S. Air Force Veteran, Fr. Robert Jalbert, M.M..

Fr. Bob heads the Church Engagement Division here at Maryknoll where he and his team are creating and supporting a “culture of mission” in the Catholic Community in the U.S.

During his Missionary career, Fr. Bob served in East Africa in both Kenya and Tanzania and today is actively involved in forming communities of missionary disciples around the world.

Fr. Bob, whose fluent in Russian, served in the Air Force in Italy and rural Turkey during the Cold War. What’s interesting is how his assignment and time overseas lead to his Vocational calling with Maryknoll.

 

Episode Notes

The following prayer is referenced by Father Bob toward the end of this interview. We want to share it with you here:

 

A Step Along the Way: Archbishop Romero’s Prayer

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen.