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Dear friend, Inspiration comes in many forms.

For people of faith like us, we have a trove of inspiration to help us live our mission calling. I’m talking about the saints and martyrs—and the unsung heroes of everyday life who have crossed paths with us and left behind a blessing or two.

This week, during our Extraordinary Month of Mission, our Holy Father Pope Francis asks us to deepen our faith by spending time with the missionary saints, martyrs and confessors. From the earliest days of the Church right through the present century, we can call on their examples of self-sacrifice and devotion as a guide for our own mission journey.

Here are a few companions to invite into your life this week—and all the weeks that follow…

St. Francis of Assisi who sacrificed status and wealth to follow the Gospel as a humble servant of the Lord.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a patron saint of the missions thanks to her constant prayers and letters in support of missionaries. She is a reminder that it is the little things that grow God’s kingdom.

The North American martyrs, eight Jesuit missioners who died heroically for their faith.

St. John Paul II who said at his elevation in 1978, “Swing wide the gates to Christ…” He devoted his life to serving the poor,

the oppressed, and to reconciliation among Christians.

Maryknoll missioners gave us examples of selfless devotion as well. I’m thinking of Bishop Francis Xavier Ford who was martyred for his faith in Communist China. And Bishop Patrick James Byrne who died on a forced march in Korea. In more recent times, we remember the heroism of Father Vincent Capodanno, M.M., the chaplain who died serving his men on a battlefield in Vietnam.

Friend, Paul’s message to the Hebrews says it all: “We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses…” This week, find your own inspiration. Then dedicate your journey to a mission hero who will lead you home.

Next week’s mission lesson: Developing your personal missionary spirit.

Prayer for 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
May all the saints and martyrs
come to my aid
keep me from harm
protect me from evil
and guide my words, and my way
through this world to You, Lord.

In every age You have raised
up Holy Men and Women as
companions to Your people,
may I recognize their presence
in my hour of trouble or distress.

And if it be Your Will, my God,
help me be a guardian angel
to those around me
who worry and wander in this world.
Let me be awake and aware
of the plight of my brothers and sisters
near and far, known and unknown,
that through my assistance I might
by Your answer to their prayers.

Amen.

Prayer by Maryknoll Father, Joseph Veneroso

 

I hope today’s reflection has special meaning for you. This is Father Ray Finch, sending you a blessing for the week, and an invitation to listen in again next Sunday.

ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Tom O’Brien, Fr. Ray Finch, Fr. Joe Everson, Fr. Russ Feldmeier)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Fr. Ray Finch.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

ASSOCIATE PROGRAM

Enrich your own vocation, walk-in solidarity with people overseas, and work together with Maryknoll Missioners. We offer US priests and Brothers ordained elsewhere the opportunity to work in overseas missions.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop
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