Monday, August 6, 2012

Apostles of Jesus

This past weekend we were able to host Fr. Richard Nyamwaro from the Apostles of Jesus for our missionary appeal. It was great to have him join us and share with us all the work that his society does. Here is a link to the society's website for more information on them. Unfortunately, Fr. Richard was not able to stay around for the Sunday evening Mass, so I attempted to preach on behalf of his society, and I have included the video of the homily below.
As I mentioned in the homily, the American Catholic Church was established by missionaries, and there are so many impressive Catholic churches that were built by the missionaries from other countries. Also, there are so many great examples of Catholic missionaries, but I would like to draw your attention to one in particular. Father Pierre-jean De Smet, S.J. (1801-1873) was known as the Apostle of the Rocky Mountains. I happened to come across a book about Fr. De Smet when I was on retreat in March out in Colorado, and I could not put the book down when I was out there. Fr. De Smet mostly ministered to the Native Americans tribes of the West. This is part of the description on the back of the book: “If anyone will begin this book, he will want to finish it. For it is filled with adventures, descriptions of the Indians, their needs, their faith, their paganism, their willingness to convert, their being corrupted by the white man, etc. etc. Here is a biography that will surprise, inspire and edify readers--- guaranteed! What a story!” Here is a link to more information on the life of Fr. De Smet, and here is a link to in case you want to buy the book. It is definitely worth the read!
I think that we need to remember to pray for the success of the missions more often and to support them as well. I remember in high school that one of my teachers, Brother Alphonsus Martel, FSC, would take a collection everyday for the missions that he supported. He would  always say “My kiddies need money” and then would pass the collection cup around. We too need to continue this by not only supporting charitable organizations for this country, but for the whole world, especially in countries where the word of Christ is being heard for the first time, and where many Christians are being persecuted for their faith.

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