The Xaverian Missionaries: An Introduction

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This is an introduction to the Xaverian Missionaries, their life and work.

This is an introduction to the Xaverian Missionaries, their life and work.

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  • 1. A Missionary Family Shares the Good News Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier Xaverian Family Mission Vocation Q/A Discernment Our Favorite Pics Links Mission Prayers Works & Ministry EXIT
  • 2. The Birth of a Missionary Family The Xaverian Family H O M E Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier Xaverian Family Mission Vocation Q/A Discernment Our Favorite Pics Links - Addresses Mission Prayers Works & Ministry Click to Start “Xaverian Family” 1 minute Timed Show
  • 3. The Birth of a Missionary Family The Xaverian Family H O M E It was Dec. 3 rd , 1895 when a 30-year-old priest, Guido Maria Conforti , after much reflection, would officially begin, with a small group of young students, a seminary for missionaries under the patronage of St. Francis Xavier. It was a group of 14 young men who would live in a house that Conforti bought with his meager savings. It was a poor and humble beginning… the first step of a totally unpredictable adventure… a small seed had been planted without knowing if it would bear fruits one day. Xaverian Family 1 minute Timed Show
  • 4. The Birth of a Missionary Family At present, the Xaverian Missionaries are over 900 missionaries working not only in China, as it was during the life of our Founder, but spread in several countries the world over. H O M E The Xaverian Family Xaverian Family 1 minute Timed Show
  • 5. The Birth of a Missionary Family The Xaverian Family Two hundred Xaverians have already died from the moment when we first began. Some of them have died in mission fields witnessing God’s love to the people. They are our martyrs, faithful to the mission of Christ. H O M E Xaverian Family 1 minute Timed Show
  • 6. The Birth of a Missionary Family In spite of all the changes through the centuries, something remains from the very beginning of our Xaverian family… the certainty that today, as it was yesterday, the greatest treasure and the most important contribution we can give to the world is the Gospel . H O M E The Xaverian Family Xaverian Family 1 minute Timed Show
  • 7. The Birth of a Missionary Family The Xaverian Family Xaverian Family The richest inheritance that we have received from those Xaverians who preceded us in this work is a spirit of family , that way of living the Gospel that makes us feel, breath and live in our communities as an authentic family. H O M E Back to Xaverian Family
  • 8. Good News for Today’s World Our Works and Ministry Works & Ministry H O M E Click to Start “Works & Ministry” 1 minute Timed Show We live and witness our dedication to the Mission of Christ in vowed poverty, chastity and obedience. We are committed in all different fields of Mission. Xaverian Family Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier Mission Vocation Q/A Discernment Our Favorite Pics Links - Addresses Mission Prayers
  • 9. Good News for Today’s World Our Works and Ministry
    • The proclamation and sharing of the Word of God with non-Christian people.
    • The creation of new and vibrant Christian faith communities .
    H O M E Works & Ministry 1 minute Timed Show
  • 10. Good News for Today’s World Our Works and Ministry
    • The work of human promotion among the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the unjustly treated, the outcast of society.
    • The outreach to Youth.
    • The insertion into poor communities of our urban areas.
    H O M E Works & Ministry 1 minute Timed Show
  • 11. Good News for Today’s World Our Works and Ministry
    • The renewal of the missionary work in developed countries .
    • The service among indigenous people and traditional cultures of remote parts of our world.
    • The selfless work in hospitals and clinics, refugee camps, schools, and seminaries.
    H O M E Works & Ministry 1 minute Timed Show
  • 12. Good News for Today’s World Our Works and Ministry The fruits of our work may not be “spectacular” to the eyes of the world, but we believe that the human richness and deep faith we have received through the Xaverian family is both precious and most needed. This is the legacy that we have inherited from previous generations, and continues to live among us for the service of the Reign of God. H O M E Works & Ministry Back to Works & Ministry
  • 13. Blessed Guido Maria Conforti The Founder Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier Xaverian Family Mission Vocation Q/A Discernment Our Favorite Pics Links - Addresses Mission Prayers Works & Ministry Born on March 30 th , 1865 Ordained Priest on Sept. 22 nd 1888 Founded the Xaverian Missionaries on Dec. 3 rd , 1895 Consecrated Bishop of Parma, Italy on Nov. 12 th , 1906 Died on Nov. 5 th , 1931 Declared Blessed by John Paul II on March 17 th , 1996 A Life Inspired Visit to China His Writings H O M E Click to Start Xaverian Sisters
  • 14. Blessed Guido Maria Conforti A Life, Faith Inspired Guido Maria Conforti was born on March 30, 1865, at Ravadese, in the Diocese of Parma (Italy). While attending elementary school in Parma, he had his first prayer conversations with Christ crucified at the Church of Peace. He used to recall: “ He gave me my vocation, ” and “ it seemed like he told me many things . ” H O M E Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 15. Blessed Guido Maria Conforti A Life, Faith Inspired At the age of 17, Conforti entered the diocesan seminary in Parma. After a brilliant course of studies, he was ordained a priest on September 22, 1888, and was in turn professor, Vice Rector of the seminary, and Vicar of Clergy. H O M E Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 16. Blessed Guido Maria Conforti A Life, Faith Inspired Consumed with zeal for the proclamation of the Gospel among non-Christian people, he established the Xaverian Missionaries on Dec. 3, 1895. H O M E Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 17. Blessed Guido Maria Conforti A Life, Faith Inspired In 1902, Conforti was appointed Archbishop of Ravenna, Italy. His health, however, obliged him to resign in October 1904. Invited by the Pope, he was put in charge of the Diocese of Parma, Italy in 1906, where he displayed pastoral activity that was just short of prodigious in its extent and variety. H O M E Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 18. Blessed Guido Maria Conforti A Life, Faith Inspired Throughout his 25 years as Bishop of Parma, Conforti promoted his motto “ Christ is all things . ” In his efforts to make Christ known and loved, Conforti spent considerable time visiting parishes, but his main concern centered on religious formation. H O M E Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 19. Blessed Guido Maria Conforti A Life, Faith Inspired His spirituality was centered on the person of Christ. Christ was always present in his thoughts and in his heart. Christ was his constant companion in all the actions of his life. H O M E Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 20. Blessed Guido Maria Conforti A Life, Faith Inspired In September of 1928, notwithstanding his illness and age, Bishop Conforti visited his missionaries in China. He then died a saintly death in Parma, on November 5 th , 1931. Pope John Paul II declared Guido M. Conforti “Blessed” in the eyes of the whole church on March 17, 1996. H O M E Blessed Conforti Back to Blessed Conforti
  • 21. Visit to China A Need of My Heart The life journey of Guido Maria Conforti was continually inspired by faith. One last significant event in his life was H O M E his journey to China, which he undertook as “ a duty and a need of my heart .” Notwithstanding his ability to deal with missionary problems as a founder of missionaries, and as the first President of the Missionary Union of the Clergy, Conforti recognized that this trip would help him see “Mission” with a different vision. Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 22. Visit to China A Need of My Heart China gave him a new sense of the vastness of its territory: “ We don’t need 3,000 missionaries in China, but 50,000… I’ll look forward to that day when the whole of China will be called a Christian nation! ” During the visit to his missionaries, he was heard to exclaim: “ In you, O Lord, I place my trust. I will never be let down. ” Could these words not be an overflow of his deep-rooted faith? H O M E Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 23. Visit to China A Need of My Heart H O M E Before leaving China, Bishop Conforti addressed his missionaries by saying, “ I hope that my visit will bring great good, deepen our love, and give all of us greater encouragement to work willingly and constantly for the missions… I’m amazed at what you have accomplished for the good of these Chinese people. How I would like to be young again, and dedicate all my energies to them! ” Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 24. Visit to China A Need of My Heart At the end of his life he could declare: “ Faith has always been the norm of my life and thought. This faith, I have always desired to proclaim… the faith of the apostles, the faith of the Church … ” To his missionaries, Conforti entrusted his heritage… “ to announce to the whole world the Good News of Christ. ” H O M E Blessed Conforti Back to Blessed Conforti
  • 25. The Writings of Blessed Conforti See, Seek and Love God in All “ God is our beginning and our ultimate goal, and this is the reason why we must aspire to God with all our being. Our intellect was given to us in order to know, our heart in order to love, our will in order to act. Our purpose then for being in this world is to know, to love and to serve God. Anyone, therefore, who would like to reflect from this angle as to what Christian perfection is, and to make a decision which would embrace all the decisions one could possibly make, need only determine to fix their mind on a desire to see God, to love God, and to seek God in everything.” H O M E Blessed Conforti More Inspired Words
  • 26. The Writings of Blessed Conforti Christ is All, and in All H O M E Blessed Conforti “ I will come as one sharing the mysteries of God, one who proclaims that word of life which on the lips of the Apostles renewed the face of the earth; one who wishes you to know and love our Lord Jesus Christ, because this is the real purpose of the life of the spirit, which we need to constantly nourish - to know God and God’s Divine Word, Jesus Christ, sent by God, in whom alone we can expect salvation. For this reason my guiding sentence will always be the one I chose for my Episcopal coat of arms: “Christ is all, and in all”. Yes, my dearest children, in all that we do we must keep Christ as our goal, and we must try to please Christ, since He is the source and reason of all that is good for us, both in the realm of nature and the realm of grace. Without the action of God’s life-giving Spirit, humankind would fall back into the abyss of disasters and of material and moral upheavals from which Christ redeemed it through His infinite love. What would in fact be our fate without the redeeming action of Christ?” More Inspired Words
  • 27. The Writings of Blessed Conforti I Will Draw Everyone to Myself H O M E Blessed Conforti “ Your mission and your project of life are beautifully drawn up in the Crucifix, which I have just handed over to you and you have placed with joy on your heart. It seems to me that through this Image He is speaking to you in those same words he addressed to his Apostles and to the crowds two thousand years ago, as proof of the divinity of his mission: “When I am lifted up from the earth, on the Cross, I will draw everyone to myself”. In these few words we find the reason of His mission and the secret of its victories. And the mission of Christ becomes also your own mission, the secret of its victories must be the secret of your own successes: the Cross, the sacrifice of yourselves. Jesus Christ wants to draw all peoples to Himself, because He wants to reign over the minds of all with His divine teaching, and over the hearts of all with His love. And you have been called to gather all peoples around the Throne and Vision of His Cross, so that they may be able to recognize His rule, to accept His teachings, and to taste the ripe fruits of that love which He sealed with His divine blood.” More Inspired Words
  • 28. The Writings of Blessed Conforti H O M E Blessed Conforti “ The love of Jesus Christ is your motivation for making this great sacrifice. Today you stated why you are doing it: “ The love of Christ impels us ”. The example of the One who gave Himself up completely for our sake is your inspiration : “He gave himself up for us ” and this same Person has left us a commandment to love our brothers and sisters in the same way He loved us: “ As I loved you ” How I hope that during your life you will tell us of the large number of people brought to the faith, of Churches you built, of schools you have established, of hospitals, of homes, of kindergartens you have opened, of the many and varied projects which the love of Christ will inspire you to become involved in. It is for this purpose, and for this purpose alone, that you are going to other lands. You are not driven by a desire for fame, by greed to pile up wealth, by a fixation to visit new countries, or to encounter new people or become acquainted with different customs. “The love of Christ impels us”: this is the motivation of your life; all your desires and goals are expressed in one sentence. Your aim must be to gain everybody for Christ with the power of persuasion and the lure of love.” The Love of Christ Impels Us More Inspired Words
  • 29. The Writings of Blessed Conforti Joy in the midst of Afflictions H O M E Blessed Conforti “ Let nothing upset you, nothing cause you to be afraid. Let the crucifix which you carry around your neck comfort you; that crucifix must be your joy, your everything. And from the One who shed his blood down to the last drop in order to ransom us, learn to sacrifice yourselves for your brothers and sisters. God’s grace, which will always be with you, will comfort you. That grace enables us to do anything, and will act as a reminder to us in the midst of the worst trials: “I am overflowing with joy because of all our afflictions.” More Inspired Words
  • 30. The Writings of Blessed Conforti H O M E Blessed Conforti “ The plans of God, plans of goodness and of love for all, must not, and cannot fail and for this reason Jesus Christ, before going up to heaven, left behind people here on earth to share His own power and authority, and He entrusted them with the command to continue the great work He had begun. These people are called by Christ in special way: at times he calls them ‘His dear ones’ , ‘His chosen ones’, at other times he calls them ‘brothers and friends’ , “His closest friends in whom He confides” . But even that is not enough. Now He calls them to share in His trials and become His co-workers in His divine mission. Sometimes, using an expression full of deep meaning He calls them ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘light of the world’ , and still, as if all this were not enough, He goes as far as to tell them: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations... teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”, and as if to identify them with Himself adds: “Whoever listens to you, listens to me; and whoever rejects you, rejects me.” Make Disciples of All Nations More Inspired Words
  • 31. The Writings of Blessed Conforti One World, One Family H O M E Blessed Conforti “ We are told in the Gospel that one day our Lord Jesus Christ looked over at the small group of followers surrounding him and told them: ‘I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd’. These words of our Divine Savior, so full of concern, showing his concern for the salvation of all, found a response in generous souls who declared themselves ready and willing to obey the divine call…” “… And this is the biggest challenge which we must face with urgency, because all peoples have the right to redemption. Jesus Christ stated that He was determined to lead all sheep to the fold, and these sheep are scattered all over the face of the earth. Christ’s salvation is meant not for one or another specific people, not for one or another specific nation, but for the whole world…” More Inspired Words
  • 32. The Writings of Blessed Conforti Living a Family Spirit H O M E Blessed Conforti “ Love, above all, one another; let this love bring you ever closer to one another, so that you may be united heart and soul in such a way that your joys and sorrows will be shared by all. You will then gain an invincible strength, against which all your enemies’ efforts will crash and fail…” “ Yes, go and preach the universal mission proclaimed by Christ, whose goal it is to break down all barriers and to make of humankind, without usurping different nationalities and their specific values, one single great family, united by the common seal of Christian charity.” More Inspired Words
  • 33. The Writings of Blessed Conforti Open to the World H O M E Blessed Conforti “ Missionaries (and candidates in particular) should possess a suitable intellectual ability, good judgment, sound physical health, a temperament which is consistent and easy to get along with, and above all a concern for personal sanctification and the salvation of souls. Our young students should be convinced that our Congregation is not limited to the contemplative life, but that it is an active Congregation dedicated to the proclamation of the Reign of Christ. As a result they should possess a diversified and uncommon formation ... As efforts are made to choose a general plan of work and study, while keeping the doors open to other possibilities, it is worth keeping in mind the words of St Paul: “Finally, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with whatever is true and worthy of praise” (Phil. 4:8). More Inspired Words
  • 34. The Writings of Blessed Conforti So I Send You, too! H O M E Blessed Conforti “ Are you determined to follow God’s Will and Call? If you are, make sure you have, first of all, a Living Faith in your Divine Master. Let that faith permeate all your thoughts, your affections, and your actions. Place that faith before all your encounters, in all situations, and behave according to what it tells you. That faith must be your constant guide. Love, furthermore, one another. Let this love bring you ever closer to one another, so that you may be united in heart and soul in such a way that your joys and sorrows will be shared by all… And remain intimately united to Christ, as a branch is united to the vine – united in heart and mind, united in meditating on Jesus’ teachings, united in the Eucharist, united in prayer, united in the constant effort to be like Him… In this way alone will your ministry be fruitful allowing you to produce true fruits… And, at the same time, remember what He assured you: “Let nothing trouble you, or cause you fear. Your sadness will turn into joy.” Back to Blessed Conforti
  • 35. The Xaverian Missionary Sisters The Xaverian Missionary Sisters (of Mary) were established in Parma, Italy, in 1945. The seeds of this foundation can be found in the prophetic insights of Blessed Conforti. “ In the Xaverian Congregation I would like to start a Community of Sisters, for I consider it of great importance. ” (Conforti, in 1927). H O M E Blessed Conforti Missionary Sisters of Mary 1 minute Timed Show
  • 36. The Xaverian Missionary Sisters Celestine Bottego , born in Butte, Montana in 1895, expressed her consent to collaborate with Fr. James Spagnolo to start the community of sisters. Fr. Spagnolo and Mother Bottego wished their H O M E community to be missionary. Today, the Missionaries of Mary – Xaverian Sisters – are present in Italy, Brazil, Mexico, United States, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Japan and Thailand. Blessed Conforti Missionary Sisters of Mary 1 minute Timed Show
  • 37. The Xaverian Missionary Sisters Missionary Sisters of Mary They are engaged in evangelization, catechetical activity, health care, and human promotion (especially of women). They live in small mission communities, often in areas of great poverty. They strive to respond to deep- rooted aspirations of the local churches and people among whom they live, and whose journey, sufferings, hopes and expectations they share. H O M E Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 38. The Xaverian Missionary Sisters Missionary Sisters of Mary The Xaverian Sisters draw inspiration from Mary, in the mystery of the Visitation , and hold her to be the model of their interior H O M E spirit. Like Mary, they travel the world hopeful that all people may come to know the love of Christ. Blessed Conforti 1 minute Timed Show
  • 39. The Xaverian Missionary Sisters Missionary Sisters of Mary “ May your love be your habit ” was the invitation of Fr. Spagnolo. Their small international communities provide a visible sign of the one people, which God loves and calls, to salvation. H O M E Blessed Conforti Back to Blessed Conforti
  • 40. Saint Francis Xavier Model and Patron Blessed Guido Maria Conforti sent his missionaries to China, where their Model and Patron, Saint Francis Xavier , had hoped to arrive. H O M E Click to Start “St. Francis Xavier” 1 minute Timed Show Works & Ministry Xaverian Family Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier Mission Vocation Q/A Discernment Our Favorite Pics Links - Addresses Mission Prayers
  • 41. Saint Francis Xavier Model and Patron St. Francis Xavier was born in Navarre, Spain, on April 7, 1506. At the age of 21, he began his studies at the College of Sainte-Barbe, in Paris, where he met Ignatius of Loyola. In March 1530, Francis received his MA in Philosophy. Ignatius changed Francis’ goal in life with the question of the Gospel “ What profit is it, if you gain the whole world, and lose your soul? ” H O M E St. Francis Xavier 1 minute Timed Show
  • 42. Saint Francis Xavier Model and Patron Together with six friends, Francis professed religious vows at Montmartre, Paris, starting the Jesuit community. After some studies of theology, Francis was ordained priest in Rome on June 24, 1537. H O M E St. Francis Xavier 1 minute Timed Show
  • 43. Saint Francis Xavier Model and Patron Ignatius of Loyola assigned Francis to work in India, and on May 6, 1542, Francis arrived in Goa after a yearlong voyage. From there, Francis began to work among the poor of South India, Malacca, and the Moluccas Islands (Indonesia). Francis wrote that like a crazy man he could scream in the universities of Europe, that millions upon millions are waiting to hear God’s Word… and he felt that not one students was willing to say “ Here I am, Lord. What do you want me to do? ” like Samuel in the Bible. H O M E St. Francis Xavier 1 minute Timed Show
  • 44. Saint Francis Xavier Model and Patron On Aug. 15, 1549, Francis arrived in Kagoshima, Japan, where he established the first Christian community. In July 1552, Francis Xavier sailed for China, but he arrived at Sancian Island. He fell seriously ill with a fever, and died in Sancian Island on Dec. 3rd, 1552. H O M E St. Francis Xavier 1 minute Timed Show
  • 45. Saint Francis Xavier Model and Patron Francis Xavier was proclaimed Saint on March 12, 1622, and, together with St. Therese of Lisieux , Patron of all Missions , by Pope Pius X in 1904. H O M E St. Francis Xavier Back to St. Francis Xavier
  • 46. A Missionary Vocation Mission in Our Lives Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier Xaverian Family Mission Vocation Q/A Discernment Our Favorite Pics Links - Addresses Mission Prayers Works & Ministry Discover the different steps for Joining the Xaverian Missionaries H O M E Click to Continue Missioned to Serve The Formation Program A Xaverian Priest A Xaverian Brother
  • 47. Missioned to Serve Mission in Our Lives Mission Vocation The missionary – wrote Blessed Conforti - is the finest and most splendid example of the ideal life. In spirit, the missionary has contemplated Jesus Christ commissioning the apostle to conquer the world, not by weapons but by persuasion and love; and the missionary has been captivated by this encounter with Christ. For this ideal cause, the missionary gives up family, homeland, all that he treasures as his very own. ” H O M E Continues next page
  • 48. Missioned to Serve Mission in Our Lives Mission Vocation The Xaverians preach and teach; they are channels of the gift of grace, to reconcile people with God. We are involved in social work, in community building, in health care, and in educational programs. We live together in a missionary community consecrated to God by a mission vow and the profession of the evangelical counsels, the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. H O M E Continues next page
  • 49. Missioned to Serve Mission in Our Lives Mission Vocation Our missionary work and religious life constitute our sole and undivided charism. By our mission vow, we Xaverians promise to actually leave from our familiar environment, and totally dedicate ourselves to the sharing of the Gospel. We live and carry out the mission of the Church in communities that, as families, are called to share faith, mission commitment, hopes, joys, concerns, spiritual and material goods. H O M E Continues next page
  • 50. Missioned to Serve Mission in Our Lives Mission Vocation Our Xaverian communities strive to be visible signs of the Reign of God by our spirit of faith, our outreaching love, our listening to God’s Word, and our being welcoming and respectful of the people we serve. H O M E Continues next page
  • 51. Missioned to Serve Mission in Our Lives Mission Vocation Blessed Guido Maria Conforti defined a missionary as a person of action in constant union with Christ. Prayer is the foremost important activity of the missionary because it strengthens his faithfulness and sustains his missionary commitment. H O M E Continues next page
  • 52. Missioned to Serve Mission in Our Lives Mission Vocation To become a Xaverian Missionary, you need to be a Roman Catholic, 18 to 35 years of age, and have at least a high school diploma. You should be motivated by a sincere desire to give yourself to God in a community exclusively dedicated to foreign mission activity. H O M E Back to Mission Vocation
  • 53. The Formation Program If Not You… Who? Blessed Guido Maria Conforti made known his feelings about his constant concern: “ The preaching of the Gospel is the greatest problem, it demands an immediate solution since all peoples have a right to Redemption .” H O M E Mission Vocation Continues next page
  • 54. The Formation Program If Not You… Who? In the USA, the journey of joining the Xaverian family begins with acceptance in our College P rogram in Franklin, WI. It is there that aspects of human, academic and spiritual formation are nurtured. H O M E Mission Vocation Continues next page
  • 55. The Formation Program If Not You… Who? It then continues in the Novitiate Y ear , which normally takes place at our international Novitiate house in Italy. During this year, the novice becomes better acquainted with the Xaverian congregation, its beginnings and history, and reaches a deeper understanding of the religious vows. H O M E Mission Vocation Continues next page
  • 56. The Formation Program If Not You… Who? After the profession of Temporary Vows , an individual joins our international Theology C ommunity in Chicago, where students live as a family, encouraging one another to grow toward God and humanity through prayer, study, and various ministries of social concern. H O M E Mission Vocation Continues next page
  • 57. The Formation Program If Not You… Who? The theology program lasts 4-6 years. A full year of supervised M ission E xperience is also offered to our students during their final years of training. H O M E Mission Vocation Continues next page
  • 58. The Formation Program If Not You… Who? Join us in this great adventure . Choose the world as your home, and do your share that the world may become One Single Family . If the Lord calls you, come! H O M E Mission Vocation Back to Mission Vocation
  • 59. A Xaverian Priest Call to Priesthood A Xaverian Priest is a man called by God and sent by the church to bring the people closer to God. Enabled by Christ’s power in the sacrament of Holy Orders, the priest gathers a community by proclaiming God’s Word, teaching the values of the Gospel, providing guidance and leadership to his people, and celebrating with them the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. In his service, the priest will always be adapting to new circumstances, meeting new challenges, getting to know new people. In doing this, he will find happiness and fulfillment by touching the lives of people, and even changing their course in life. A priest is called to be a constant gift to the community, a sign of unity, a witness and a person who is in touch with God and the needs of the community. H O M E Mission Vocation Continues next page
  • 60. A Xaverian Priest Call to Priesthood Lifestyle : A religious priest ordinarily is a member of a community, which goes beyond the geographical limits of any diocese. He chooses to be a servant of God’s people and to live and work in a community for mutual support and accomplishment of some specific ministry. For the Xaverians, our common goal consists in being missionaries in cross-cultural situations, among the non-Christians and the poor. The witness of a religious priest is to build community by ministering the Sacraments, visible signs of God’s presence, action and love in the world. He offers his work and service in a variety of ways, such as overseas work, vocational guidance, teaching, renewal programs, parish related activities and justice and peace issues. He lives in a religious community by praying, working, planning together with other priests and brothers who share the same values and ideals. H O M E Mission Vocation Continues next page
  • 61. A Xaverian Priest Call to Priesthood Service : A priest is ordained to build and nourish the Christian community and to minister to the deepest needs of the human person. The priest focuses his activities on Serving the community by preaching the Gospel, training leadership, celebrating the sacraments, welcoming new Christians, being involved in youth and adult ministries. A religious priest also leads the community through prayer and reflection of God’s Word, by participating at crucial and important moments of life (i.e. birth, death, marriage, sickness, etc.). Some Xaverian priests serve in ministries like health care, retreats and workshops, media and communications, administration, inter-religious dialogue with non-Christians, and social issues. Living as a Xaverian priest and being sent to another culture is a unique adventure and a challenge to see new ways to proclaim the Good News, to promote above all the Reign of God and its Justice, and to share the life and the conditions of some of the poorest people in the world. H O M E Mission Vocation Continues next page
  • 62. A Xaverian Priest Call to Priesthood Training : After his College Diploma, the training for a candidate to the Xaverian missionary priesthood entails up to one year for the Pre-Novitiate program, a one-year for the Novitiate, at least four years of Theological studies, with an optional mission experience. After the completion of College, the whole period of formation and training of candidates to the Xaverian priesthood lasts from six to eight years. H O M E Mission Vocation Back to Mission Vocation
  • 63. A Xaverian Brother Call to Brotherhood A Xaverian Brother is a full member of the same community, who share the same ideals, responsibilities and the same mission. Brothers carry out their ministry in a special way, for they can be found doing virtually every ministry Christians perform. Yet, it’s not so much what they do, but how they live that makes them special.   Lifestyle : A brother is a Man of faith and prayer. He is committed to religious overseas missionary life through the vows, and to living in community. He receives support in that community by prayer, study, work and relaxation. Decisions concerning tasks and ministry are also made in cooperation. H O M E Mission Vocation Continues next page
  • 64. A Xaverian Brother Call to Brotherhood Service : No one job defines a brother. Rather, the Gospel centered lifestyle enables him to make the most of his talents and qualities for the total service of others. As Servant where the need is greatest, a Xaverian missionary brother may be teacher of adults, children or youth; a nurse or architects; an administrator or social worker; a counselor or a community organizer… according to the individual’s professional skills and qualifications. Flexibility and creativity in ministry is the hallmark of this lifestyle. Training : While a candidate can join the Xaverian formation process with a High School Diploma, brotherhood requires a Bachelor’s Degree or some other technical/vocational or professional training. Also, a brother will spend a year for the Pre-Novitiate stage, a one-year in Novitiate, and some basic Theology studies together with cross-cultural experiences. There is also an optional two-year mission experience during this period. The training depends a lot on the interests of the individual and is planned together with the formation team. H O M E Mission Vocation Back to Mission Vocation
  • 65. H O M E Click to See Favorites Pics 3 minute Show Our Favorite Pics Works & Ministry Xaverian Family Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier Mission Vocation Q/A Discernment Links - Addresses Mission Prayers Chinese children have fun under a canvas, in 1919
  • 66. EARLY MISSIONARY BEGINNINGS IN CHINA H O M E Our Favorite Pics “ He looked at me, and it seems as if He was telling many things” Happy for the bread just out-of-the-oven In the midst of a flood in Honan, China
  • 67. BEAUTY IN THE FIELDS OF THE LORD H O M E Our Favorite Pics
  • 68. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT Our Favorite Pics H O M E
  • 69. SCENES OF ASIA Our Favorite Pics H O M E
  • 70. SCENES OF AFRICA Our Favorite Pics H O M E
  • 71. SCENES OF LATIN AMERICA Our Favorite Pics H O M E
  • 72. FROM THE MOTHERHOUSE, PARMA, ITALY The entrance of the Motherhouse on the occasion of the Beatification of Conforti The Beautiful Altar at the Conforti’s Shrine Our Favorite Pics Inside of the Shrine of Blessed Conforti H O M E Blessed Guido M. Conforti study Room
  • 73. FROM THE MOTHERHOUSE, PARMA, ITALY H O M E The Crucifix of Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier entrusts to Mary the fruits of his labors. In the Martyrs Chapel Our Favorite Pics
  • 74. H O M E MARTYRDOM, THE SUBLIME SACRIFICE Fr. Ottorino Maule, s.x. Killed in Burundi in 1995 Fr. Valerian Cobbe, s.x. Killed in Bangladesh in 1974 Fr. Salvatore Deiana, s.x. Killed in Brazil in 1987 Brother Victor Faccin, s.x. Killed in Congo in 1964 Our Favorite Pics
  • 75. SCENES OF CONFORTI’S LIFE Bishop Conforti on a Horse on his visits to mountain parishes First Communion Picture Bishop Conforti with departing China Missionaries in 1904 Our Favorite Pics Xaverian Missionaries’ Logo H O M E
  • 76. SCENES OF CONFORTI’S BEATIFICATION The Body of Conforti is carried out the Cathedral of Parma The Procession continues through the streets of Parma Our Favorite Pics Pope John Paul II blesses some Xaverians H O M E
  • 77. FROM ST. FRANCIS XAVIER’S LIFE Our Favorite Pics H O M E The Smiling Crucifix at Xavier Castle Xavier points to Heaven, as he shares the Gospel Celebrations at St. Francis Xavier’s Castle, Spain
  • 78. ST. THERESE, MISSION FROM HOME Our Favorite Pics H O M E St. Therese of the Little Flower Therese, before entering the Carmelite Convent
  • 79. Our Favorite Pics Back to H O M E Together we are Strong Share, and God will smile! Baptism in Bangladesh Caring for her brother
  • 80. Prayer for Missionary Vocations Mission Prayers by Blessed Guido Maria Conforti O Jesus , You died for the salvation of all and founded the Church to continue the work of redemption on earth. Increase, we ask You, the number of those who preach the Gospel. Strengthen them in their ministry, sanctify their service, so that those who have not yet received the gift of faith, may soon come to know You and love You on earth, and enjoy You eternally in Heaven. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen. H O M E Click to Go to the Next Prayer Works & Ministry Xaverian Family Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier Mission Vocation Q/A Discernment Our Favorite Pics Links - Addresses Mission Prayers
  • 81. Prayer for Missionaries Mission Prayers by Blessed Guido Maria Conforti O Jesus , You are the beginning and the end of our life. You wanted Love to be the distinctive sign of your disciples. We entrust to You our missionaries who proclaim Your Gospel throughout the world. Bless their missionary work with Your Grace. Keep them safe from all dangers. Give them strength to bear any suffering for the glory of Your Name, making them worthy servants of Your vineyard. Grant that, through the intercession of St. Francis Xavier, the great apostle of the East, we too may share in their joys and sufferings, that we may enter with them into Your everlasting Glory. All this we ask through Christ, our Lord. Amen. H O M E Click to Go to the Next Prayer Mission Prayers
  • 82. Prayer for Discernment in Life Mission Prayers All Loving and Gracious God, You know my inmost thoughts and You are familiar with all my ways. You have blessed me with many gifts and talents. Give me a share of Your wisdom, show me Your truth, and reveal to me the secrets of my own heart. May I have the courage to look, honestly and deeply, at the reality of my life, so that I can faithfully follow You. Help me to see in myself what You see, and give me the courage to uncover both my strengths and weaknesses, to know and follow Your will for me each and every day of my life. Bless Your Church with generous hearts, eager to serve Your people and to spread Your Word. Amen. H O M E Click to Go to the Next Prayer Mission Prayers
  • 83. Novena Prayer to Blessed Conforti Mission Prayers O God , our Father, we thank You for the many signs of Your presence among us. We thank You for our brothers and sisters who, despite human weaknesses, have drawn closer to Jesus Christ, Your Son, becoming living models of Your Love for us. Confident in Your kindness and mercy, we pray through the intercession of Blessed Guido Maria Conforti, zealous apostle of Your Reign, to grant us the Grace that we ask of You. (pause for personal petitions) Hear our prayer that we may feel closer to Your love and follow Blessed Guido Maria Conforti in living the Gospel of Jesus, Your Son, and making it known to all people. For He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. H O M E Click to Go to the Next Prayer Mission Prayers
  • 84. Prayer of those who are suffering Mission Prayers O Loving and Compassionate God, I trust in Your goodness even at this time of sorrow in my life. Today we need consecrated men and women to serve Your church. I offer my suffering, my illness, my weaknesses, and my personal crosses, for Your greater honor and glory. Give Your church dedicated priests, sisters, brothers, and missionaries, faithful and gentle servants of the Gospel. Give a spirit of generosity to our youth. Grant them Your vision of how they can serve their brothers and sisters in Christ. O Loving and Compassionate God, give me strength to pray constantly, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. H O M E Click to Go to the Next Prayer Mission Prayers
  • 85. Family Vocation Prayer Mission Prayers Loving God, each member of our family is a special gift from You. You have given each of us gifts and talents so we may enjoy life but also so we can share with others. Generous and loving people are needed for service and leadership in our church community. Help us to know how to encourage and support each other so that we can respond generously to this need. We know that You will be with us, inviting to become the kind of people You desire us to be. Help us to trust in You and in each other. Amen H O M E Click to Go to the Next Prayer Mission Prayers
  • 86. Prayer for the Gift of Faithfulness Mission Prayers
    • by Blessed Guido Maria Conforti
        • O God of goodness and love,
        • You wish all nations to be saved.
        • Grant us, we pray, the gift of final perseverance.
        • Make us faithful to Your grace,
        • so that we may reach
        • the perfection that You want from us.
        • We ask this through the blessings
        • of the death and resurrection of Your Son,
        • by the love You show us in the Eucharist
        • and through the loving care of Mary, our Mother.
        • Grant this through Christ, our Lord.
        • Amen.
    H O M E Click to Go to the Next Prayer Mission Prayers
  • 87. Prayer for the Sharing of the Gospel Mission Prayers
    • by Blessed Guido Maria Conforti
        • Eternal God , Creator of all things,
        • We remember that You alone created all peoples,
        • forming them in Your image and likeness.
        • We recall the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ,
        • who suffered for them, sharing His life.
        • We pray that Jesus may be known everywhere.
        • By the prayers of this community,
        • mindful of Your Mercy and Love,
        • may all peoples come to know Jesus Christ,
        • whom You sent, Your Son and our companion.
        • He is our Salvation, Life and Resurrection,
        • to whom is all glory forever. Amen.
    H O M E Mission Prayers Back to
  • 88. Interesting Addresses & Links Link with the World Xaverian Missionaries WEB: www.xaviermissions.org Email: [email_address] 12 Helene Ct. • WAYNE, NJ 07470 • (973) 942-2975 1347 E. Hyde Park Blvd. • CHICAGO, IL 60615 • (773) 643-5745 218 Alexander St. • CHICAGO, IL 60616 • (312) 842-6777 101 Summer St. • HOLLISTON, MA 01746 • (508) 429-2144 4500 Xavier Dr. • FRANKLIN, WI 53132 • (414) 421-0831 Xaverian Missionary Sisters 431 W. 204 th Street • NEW YORK, NY 10034 • (212) 569-4737 242 Salisbury Street • WORCESTER, MA 01609 • (508) 757-0514 H O M E Click for More Addresses Links - Addresses
  • 89. Interesting Addresses & Links Link with the World On Vocations Catholic Forum: www.catholic-forum.com Catholic Resources: www.catholic-church.org National Coalition of Church Vocations: www.nccv-vocations.org National Conference of Catholic Bishops: www.nccbuscc.org/index St. Anthony Messenger: www.americancatholic.org The Holy See: www. vatican . va Vision Magazine: www. visionguide .org Justice and Peace / Missionary Amnesty International: www.amnesty.org Bread for the World: www.bread.org Maryknoll Catholic Missions: www.maryknoll.org Propagation of Faith: www.propfaith.org H O M E Links - Addresses
  • 90. Questions & Answers on Discernment Q/A on Discernment Try to see if these Questions and Answers section clarify the issues that are close to your heart in discerning a Religious Missionary Vocation H O M E The CALL for You Religious Missionary LIFE Facing our FEARS GIFTS for a Missionary Life Religious Missionary VOWS Suggestions for GROWTH Click to Continue Works & Ministry Xaverian Family Blessed Conforti St. Francis Xavier Mission Vocation Q/A Discernment Our Favorite Pics Links - Addresses Mission Prayers Waiting for a SIGN
  • 91. I am waiting for a Sign… Do I have a calling? What should I look for? What should I do to find out? Q/A on Discernment
    • Often times we are waiting for a sign from God to tell us God is calling us. But this Call is not as dramatic as we might believe. Many of those who have been ordained or professed for years point out that rather than a voice from heaven, there are certain indications within our ordinary lives, and some personal qualities that fir the needs of religious missionary life.
    • These indications or clues vary from person to person. “I was always interested in working with the poor – one bishop once said – but I didn’t feel at all worthy to become a priest. So I waited for a sign and when it didn’t come, I figured wanting to work with the poor was a sign.”
      • Know yourself (your interests, gifts you have and want to share). Ask yourself: what do I dream I would like to be and do in my life? What are my talents? What do my parents, teachers, or friends say about me? What are the things I do well and they often point them out to me?
      • Know the many opportunities present in the Church : lay ministry, volunteering in church surroundings, brotherhood, priesthood, etc.
    H O M E Continues next page Q/A Discernment
  • 92. I am waiting for a Sign… Q/A on Discernment
      • Get to know a few groups or organizations that offer that type of ministry you are most attracted to. Contact them and find out the differences in their own approach, goals and lifestyle (what and how they live and work) as well as the challenges they face.
      • A Vocation is always a mysterious thing because it involves people in relationship with God . Taking a closer look at our lives and at ourselves, we can discern our vocation. So we aren’t just guessing wildly…
    H O M E Read and Reflect on one of these Vocation Calls: Conclude your Meditation with: Put it into Action by: The Prayer of Discernment Visit your parish or the local Shrine during a time that is not a Sunday Mass… just because. Do I have a calling? What should I look for? What should I do to find out? Q/A Discernment Back to Moses in Exodus 2-4 Ruth in Ruth 1:1-18 Zaccheus in Luke 19:1-20
  • 93. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Now a certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, who conceived and bore a son. Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket, daubed it with bitumen and pitch, and putting the child in it, placed it among the reeds on the riverbank. His sister stationed herself at a distance to find out what would happen to him. Pharaoh's daughter came down to the river to bathe, while her maids walked along the riverbank. Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it. On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying! She was moved with pity for him and said, "It is one of the Hebrews' children." Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?" "Yes, do so," she answered. So the maiden went and called the child's own mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you." The woman therefore took the child and nursed it. When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him as her son and called him Moses; for she said, "I drew him out of the water." I am waiting for a Sign… Back to Moses Exodus 2:1-18
  • 94. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Some time after their arrival on the Moabite plateau, Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women, one named Orpah, the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion died also, and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband.   She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab because word reached her there that the LORD had visited his people and given them food. She and her two daughters-in-law left the place where they had been living. Then as they were on the road back to the land of Judah, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's house! May the LORD be kind to you as you were to the departed and to me! May the LORD grant each of you a husband and a home in which you will find rest." She kissed them good-bye, but they wept with loud sobs, and told her they would return with her to her people. "Go back, my daughters!" said Naomi. "Why should you come with me? Have I other sons in my womb who may become your husbands? Go back, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to marry again. And even if I could offer any hopes, or if tonight I had a husband or had borne sons, would you then wait and deprive yourselves of husbands until those sons grew up? No, my daughters! my lot is too bitter for you, because the LORD has extended his hand against me." Again they sobbed aloud and wept; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her. "See now!" she said, "your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god. Go back after your sister-in-law!" But Ruth said, "Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! for wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Wherever you die I will die, and there be buried. May the LORD do so and so to me, and more besides, if aught but death separates me from you!" Naomi then ceased to urge her, for she saw she was determined to go with her. I am waiting for a Sign… Back to Ruth Ruth 1:1-18
  • 95. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy.   When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost." I am waiting for a Sign… Back to Zaccheus Luke 19:1-14
  • 96. Prayer for Discernment in Life I am waiting for a Sign… All Loving and Gracious God, You know my inmost thoughts and You are familiar with all my ways. You have blessed me with many gifts and talents. Give me a share of Your wisdom, show me Your truth, and reveal to me the secrets of my own heart. May I have the courage to look, honestly and deeply, at the reality of my life, so that I can faithfully follow You. Help me to see in myself what You see, and give me the courage to uncover both my strengths and weaknesses, to know and follow Your will for me each and every day of my life. Bless Your Church with generous hearts, eager to serve Your people and to spread Your Word. Amen. H O M E Mission Prayers Back to
  • 97. The Call for You
    • Church Ministry is not a matter of “I should”, nor is it an escape or a “security blanket.” Waiting for a call to be perfectly clear can be an excuse for not acting. Few calls are ever crystal clear. Couples talk about the mystery of “why this wife for me, why this husband for me, why these children for us?” When we make life decisions like marriage, career, and children, few of us are sure God is calling us to these options. Instead, we pray that we are making a wise decision and leave the rest up to God.
    • Try to ask yourself the following questions. Do they clarify your ideas?
      • On your desire and attraction to the priesthood or religious life: Does it give me a certain sense of satisfaction to think of myself as a missionary? As a priest? As a brother?
      • On your motivations and reasons for the priesthood or religious: What’s behind my interest and attraction? What are the positive reasons I have to pursue that?
      • On your “fitness” to live as a missionary priest or brother: Can I live religious life or priesthood cheerfully and generously, without going into pieces or without a constant drain on my inner resources and energies?
    Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Continues next page Does it feel right? How can I be sure about my call? Q/A Discernment
  • 98. The Call for You Read and Reflect on these Words by Blessed Conforti: Conclude your Meditation with: Put it into Action by: Q/A on Discernment H O M E “ How good God has been to us! God has filled and is filling us with gifts and graces: we must make fruitful the talents we have received through faithfulness and gratitude. Everything comes from the generous hand of God, and nothing should seem too small or too little value to us. God is always ready to give us Grace from above; yet the Lord demands of us the necessary dispositions: an unlimited trust in God’s goodness and a generosity ready to sacrifice everything. Called to follow in his footsteps, we look at Christ as our model and master. In every life situation we must ask ourselves how Christ would have acted.” The Prayer for Missionary Vocations Thank someone who has been the “generous hand of God” in your life today through a thought, gift or kindness. Back to Does it feel right? How can I be sure about my call? Q/A Discernment
  • 99. Prayer for Missionary Vocations The Call for You H O M E Mission Prayers Back to by Blessed Guido Maria Conforti O Jesus , You died for the salvation of all and founded the Church to continue the work of redemption on earth. Increase, we ask You, the number of those who preach the Gospel. Strengthen them in their ministry, sanctify their service, so that those who have not yet received the gift of faith, may soon come to know You and love You on earth, and enjoy You eternally in Heaven. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
  • 100. Religious Missionary Life Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to How do I know that God is calling me? Where do I fit? Which Church Vocation and Ministry are the best for me?
    • There are seven indicators that can help a young person to feel at home in religious and missionary life. As you read them, listen to your heart. What does it tell you?
      • A sensitivity to Others : This is the kind of person who stands up for others, who wants to be helpful to others, who refuses to allow people to bully others, who sense when people are depressed or in a low mood and tries to lift them up.
      • Attraction to groups dealing with Human Needs : People drawn to religious and missionary life are often drawn to efforts like working among and with the poor, the homeless, the lonely, the forgotten, the refugees, the migrants, etc.
      • Idealism : Many young people express their ideals in areas like peace and justice and a better world. We need to nurture these values and longings present in us so that they may become our driving force.
      • Leadership : People who work well with others, who enjoy being in charge, carrying out responsibilities, and who have natural leadership talents. Contrary to the old image of the quiet, pious follower ready-made for religious life, our Church and world today need leadership-oriented young people, a leadership that is perceived as service, collaboration, and teamwork.
    Continues next page Q/A Discernment
  • 101. Religious Missionary Life Read one of these Bible Vocation Calls: Conclude your Meditation with: Put it into Action by: Q/A on Discernment H O M E The Prayer for the Sharing of the Gospel Read articles today on problems relating to poor countries. Back to How do I know that God is calling me? Where do I fit? Which Church Vocation and Ministry are the best for me? Jeremiah: 1:4-10 and 15:10-21 John the Baptist in John 1:19-34 Paul of Tarsus in Acts 9:1-25
    • Creativity : People who appreciate music, drama, and the other arts. The church needs creative people in their ministry in order to touch people’s lives in new ways.
    • Orientation toward People : Being able to enjoy people and friendships, chatting, working, sharing their day-to-day experiences… because they care and they want to grow together, not in isolation.
    • Search for the Meaning in Life : We could also describe this quality as that of being faith-filled, but this quality sometimes scares us, for we don’t see ourselves as “holy.” However, all of us (in our personal vocations in life) are involved in an ongoing search for a deeper relationship with God.
    Q/A Discernment
  • 102. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to The word of the LORD came to me thus: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. "Ah, Lord GOD!" I said, "I know not how to speak; I am too young." But the LORD answered me, Say not, "I am too young." To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.  Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying, See, I place my words in your mouth! This day I set you over nations and over kingdoms, to root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.   Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth! a man of strife and contention to all the land! I neither borrow nor lend, yet all curse me. Tell me, LORD, have I not served you for their good? Have I not interceded with you in the time of misfortune and anguish? You know I have. Remember me, LORD, visit me, and avenge me on my persecutors. Because of your long-suffering banish me not; know that for you I have borne insult. When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, Because I bore your name, O LORD, God of hosts. I did not sit celebrating in the circle of merrymakers; under the weight of your hand I sat alone because you filled me with indignation. Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook, whose waters do not abide! Thus the LORD answered me: If you repent, so that I restore you, in my presence you shall stand; if you bring forth the precious without the vile, you shall be my mouthpiece. Then it shall be they who turn to you, and you shall not turn to them; And I will make you toward this people a solid wall of brass. Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, for I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the LORD. Religious Missionary Life Back to Jeremiah Jeremiah 1:4-10 & 15:10-21
  • 103. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites (to him) to ask John the Baptist, "Who are you?" he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, "I am not the Messiah." So they asked him, "What are you then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No." So they said to him, "Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?" He said: "I am 'the voice of one crying out in the desert, "Make straight the way of the Lord,"' as Isaiah the prophet said." Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie." This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, 'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.' I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel." John testified further, saying, "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God." Religious Missionary Life Back to John the Baptist John 1:19-34
  • 104. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, 2 he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" He said, "Who are you, sir?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do."   The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank. There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." He answered, "Here I am, Lord." The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is there praying, and (in a vision) he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay (his) hands on him, that he may regain his sight."   But Ananias replied, "Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call upon your name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name." Religious Missionary Life Back to Paul of Tarsus Acts 9:1-19
  • 105. Prayer for the Sharing of the Gospel Religious Missionary Life
    • by Blessed Guido Maria Conforti
        • Eternal God , Creator of all things,
        • We remember that You alone created all peoples,
        • forming them in Your image and likeness.
        • We recall the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ,
        • who suffered for them, sharing His life.
        • We pray that Jesus may be known everywhere.
        • By the prayers of this community,
        • mindful of Your Mercy and Love,
        • may all peoples come to know Jesus Christ,
        • whom You sent, Your Son and our companion.
        • He is our Salvation, Life and Resurrection,
        • to whom is all glory forever. Amen.
    H O M E Mission Prayers Back to
  • 106. Facing Your Fears It’s a common thing for all of us to meet young people who express their interest in religious life or priesthood, but they held back by their fears. These fears are very real, that are rooted on deep concerns, while others are just plain “myths.” Let’s name these anxieties in our hearts, and try to discover their weight on our decisions. Fear of disappointing others : Many worry they will disappoint parents, family and friends should they not become ordained or professed. In this case there is a need for an open dialogue about their vocation quest and an honest discernment. Never exploring the vocation question would probably be more disappointing. Fear of uncertainty : Often people are not 100% sure of a vocation decision, so they can’t act on it. But no one has to be completely sure just to investigate a church vocation. If the missionary life has been a gut question over a period of time, it’s worth exploring. If others agreed that a church vocation seems fitting, all the more reason to step forth. The degree of certainty becomes more important as people move through and near the end of the formation years. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to What about the relationships in my life? How do I overcome doubts? Yes, I’m afraid of taking a step like this one! Continues next page Q/A Discernment
  • 107. Facing Your Fears Fear of Loneliness : One of the most common fears concerns loneliness and family matters with regard to celibacy. It’s important to realize that loneliness touches everyone and every lifestyle. There are many lonely couples and many lonely families. Loneliness results more from internal circumstances than from external. If people are insecure, they’ll be lonely regardless of how many people may be around them. In terms of having or being part of a family, missionaries and religious experience a sense of belonging to support groups and communities that regularly for prayer, sharing and encouragement. Church ministry opens up so many opportunities of family experiences with the people we serve. Fear of Insufficient Funds : Formation for a missionary religious life requires considerable funds and resource, and rightly many wonder, “How can I afford it?” Religious communities do ask for contribution and self-financial support during College studies, but scholarships and loans are available to help people financially during their discernment and formation process. This is possible through the generous support we receive from friends and benefactors. If there is a financial problem, you need to share it with the Vocation minister. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to What about the relationships in my life? How do I overcome doubts? Yes, I’m afraid of taking a step like this one! Continues next page Q/A Discernment
  • 108. Facing Your Fears Fear of Being Tied Down : Some fear that they will be too tied down in life. They assume they wouldn’t have the chance to visit their families or friends, gain further education, change services, etc. This is not quite the came for missionary life: we do visit our relatives regularly; we encourage further studies and specializations; we are open to always-new ministries. All this, of course, is planned together with the community as it responds to the real needs of its missionary service. Fear of Academic Studies : Sometimes young people worry about whether they can handle the studies involved in a vocation. Honestly, it is not as difficult as it appears: with average intelligence and a willingness to work, people can master the studies. Also, formation programs leading to the priesthood or religious life look not only at the academic ability, but also at spirituality, relational skills, emotional and psychological development, ministry experiences, and more. Academic ability is only one aspect of the formation process. Fear of Living without Possessions : “Can I live without the wealth and material possessions I could have from any other job and profession?” This fear might sound selfish, but it’s very real. For us, religious missionaries (priests and brothers), we do put everything in common. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to What about the relationships in my life? How do I overcome doubts? Yes, I’m afraid of taking a step like this one! Continues next page Q/A Discernment
  • 109. Facing Your Fears We share property, wages, donations, means, etc. By the same token, however, all we need for our well-being and of our missionary work is provided for by the community through the same common fund. Therefore food, housing, medicines, relaxations, travels, and everything else is made possible by our sharing of our resources. We share what we have, and what we need. Fear of Unhappiness : “Will I be happy?” is a key question for many considering a church vocation. We may look at how we achieved happiness in the past: when was I happy? Who or what made me happy? If we see that we need a lot of external rewards to be happy, then we may not be satisfied in religious missionary life. On the other hand, if helping others – especially helping others in their faith journey – is rewarding and energizing, then religious missionary life will bring happiness. We have also to keep in mind that people will experience years during which they’ll test this out, especially living at our formation communities before making any permanent commitment. People will find out if this is the place and lifestyle for them through prayer, service, and every day community life. How would we really know if we would be happy in a particular lifestyle and ministry if we don’t give ourselves a chance to look into it? Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to What about the relationships in my life? How do I overcome doubts? Yes, I’m afraid of taking a step like this one! Continues next page Q/A Discernment
  • 110. Facing Your Fears Fear of “Not having what it takes”: “Do I have what it takes?” Many candidates to religious missionary life wonder if they have the qualities and skills needed for this life. The discernment process will help them answer also this question. Through reflection, reading, prayer, and actually meeting and talking with people who are missionaries, will be a very enlightening and enriching experience, regardless of the final decision. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to What about the relationships in my life? How do I overcome doubts? Yes, I’m afraid of taking a step like this one! Read one of these Xaverian Stories: Conclude your Meditation with: Put it into Action by: The Prayer for Missionaries Make an effort today to welcome all those who are different from you and spend time in listening to them. What a Journey it has been! Working as One in Bangladesh To live in International Communities Q/A Discernment
  • 111. Coming to the Philippines I experienced an awakening of sorts. I entered the Filipino scene, and like coming to any new world, these things have a way to jolt one into a different consciousness or way of looking at things… I went through several stages, the first one being the “honeymoon” period. You know, it is the initial period before reality sets in… Later, I realized the honeymoon was crashing to an end when I could no longer screen out the significance of the differences between my western viewpoint and their world. I have to say I suffered much during this time… But : just when I thought things could not get any worse, I saw God. No, it was not a flash of light to rescue me from my pain. It was a sudden Grace that gripped my heart and thought, and I realized that all this “ mess ” has been teaching me something from the very beginning, but I was too thickheaded to understand. God’s hand was hurtling me, head first, in the very midst of my confusion to shake some sense out of me. He knew, of course, I would survive it all… The months sped like a bullet train. I was given a new job: formation and pastoral work in a parish… I accepted the new challenge and trusted that God’s would be there too! Now, after years of service among the “Filipino” communities and youth, I no longer feel like a fish out of water, nor a fish on a hot plate. I feel I am on a new and wonderful adventure in my life. I have wonderful friendships with Filipinos, ministering to them as they minister to me… Facing Your Fears H O M E Back to What a Journey it has been! By Fr. Carl Chudy, from the Philippines
  • 112. “ To be with people from different countries, to speak a new language, to learn new ways of living... You can actually understand it only by experiencing it yourself… There is no law or recipe that tells you what it is, nor what it’s going to be like… Looking at my experience, this is what has helped me to live in an International Community : to be a humble listener; to admire everything that is new with the spirit and simplicity of “a little child” , as the Gospel tells us; to remain open to learn new ways and to pick up new skills; and, finally, to have the willingness to share the treasures of your personal human experience… Of course, this will require changes, adjustments and even suffering... moments of “give and take” ... However, little by little, I learned to continuously remind myself of that which calls us to share the same house, the same spirituality and commitment to Mission. While keeping our own individual identity, like in an artistic mosaic, the challenge of International Communities will be to create a new family united upon the one single purpose we are called to: proclaiming and building together the Reign of God. This is ‘the magnet’ that pulls us together in mutual trust because of the Vision we share: to become “an International Community of Love .” Facing Your Fears H O M E Back to To Live in International Communities By Fr. Herondi Fernandes, Missionary in Sierra Leone
  • 113. Shelabunia is an important seaport in southeast Bangladesh. Our Mission, at sea level and exposed to the high and low tides, is perhaps the size of half of the state of Rhode Island. Its population is over 1.3 million people, the majority of whom are Hindus living in scattered hamlets among the rice fields. The second largest group are the Moslems. There are about 5,000 Christians, and 500 catechumens. There is also the “lowest cast” considered like the “untouchables” by the rest of the population. The poverty of the Bengali population is notable. The country survives thanks to foreign aid. The people make an effort but good will is not enough. Malnutrition leads to illness and eventually to premature death. Our mission has created a network of services together with the non-Christians especially in education and health. We offer the very same opportunities to all Hindu, Moslems, and Christians, ever attempting to make our schools a place for meaningful dialogue. At the beginning of the day, for instance, three young people read the whole assembly of students: one from the Koran, another from the Bhagavad-Gita, and the third from the New Testament. This is to show that we are companions and that we are called to respect each other’s beliefs. Facing Your Fears H O M E Back to Working as One in Bangladesh By Fr. Marino Rigon, from Bangladesh
  • 114. Prayer for Missionaries Facing Your Fears by Blessed Guido Maria Conforti O Jesus , You are the beginning and the end of our life. You wanted Love to be the distinctive sign of your disciples. We entrust to You our missionaries who proclaim Your Gospel throughout the world. Bless their missionary work with Your Grace. Keep them safe from all dangers. Give them strength to bear any suffering for the glory of Your Name, making them worthy servants of Your vineyard. Grant that, through the intercession of St. Francis Xavier, the great apostle of the East, we too may share in their joys and sufferings, that we may enter with them into Your everlasting Glory. All this we ask through Christ, our Lord. Amen. H O M E Mission Prayers Back to
  • 115. Gifts for a Missionary Life Missionaries to foreign lands and in cross-cultural settings deliver the same Good News as their counterparts at home. However their lifestyle and work call for these special characteristics in their spirituality.   Leave the Familiar : The most obvious aspect of missionary life and spirituality is that it entails leaving our family, our culture, and our people. The adjustment to a new environment can be slow and painful. Beginning missionaries might feel like stripped instruments, unable to play any music at all. But leaving means also being enriched by new experiences, and discover new horizons. Travel Light : No doubt, all missionaries carry along their own “baggage.” It may be our education, our personality, our degrees, our securities, our efficiency, our pre-packaged idea of mission, our western culture, and even our first world church experience. One the one hand we can’t discard who we are or where we come from. On the other hand, we can’t discard that our “baggage” can hinder our service. We should bring only determination to serve and willingness to listen and to be free… to love. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to What does it take to be a Missionary? What are the characteristics of a Missionary Spirituality? Continues next page Q/A Discernment
  • 116. Gifts for a Missionary Life Openness and Flexibility : As the US Bishops noted, “Even as we go out to other nations to announce the Good News, we must remain open to the voice of the Gospel speaking to us in a myriad of cultural and social expressions.” Missionary life is a two-way street, for we strive to touch people’s lives as much as we allow them to touch ours. Working in Equality : Missionaries need an attitude of working with, not just for, people in a true spirit of equality. Missionaries are called not just to preach the Gospel, but also to listen to the Gospel themselves, as the people with whom they work share it. They go to a place as guests rather than as efficient “do-gooders.” They try to revere what is already good, true and beautiful among these people. “If we fail to link Christian values with what is already good in a culture – again, write the US Bishops – we merely export an expression of faith foreign to that culture, one the people cannot fully accept. It expresses someone else’s faith experience, not their own.” Say What is Not Welcome : Missionaries must take care not to confuse the ideal of equality and service with compromise or watering down the Christian message. As they walk alongside people, missionaries are called to be prophetic, in word and in deed. They can’t sugarcoat the Gospel, come what may! Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Continues next page What does it take to be a Missionary? What are the characteristics of a Missionary Spirituality? Q/A Discernment
  • 117. Gifts for a Missionary Life Rootedness in the Lord : Missionaries do leave their family and country, because, as St. Paul puts it, “The Love of Christ impels us!” Prayer will have a special priority in a missionary’s life, especially the Eucharist as the source of unity, the bond of Christian community, the wellspring of strength, endurance and courage. Mission is “journeying with Christ in the world.” Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Read one of these Events of the Holy Family: Conclude your Meditation with: Put it into Action by: The Family Vocation Prayer In all your dealings with others today, strive to make an effort to foster harmony and peace. Mary in Luke 1:26-35 Joseph in Matthew 1:19-24 Jesus in Mark 1:9-13 What does it take to be a Missionary? What are the characteristics of a Missionary Spirituality? Q/A Discernment
  • 118. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Gifts for a Missionary Life Back to Mary Luke 1:26-35 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
  • 119. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Joseph, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus. Gifts for a Missionary Life Back to Joseph Matthew 1:19-24
  • 120. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." Gifts for a Missionary Life Back to Jesus Mark 1:9-13
  • 121. Family Vocation Prayer Gifts for a Missionary Life Loving God, each member of our family is a special gift from You. You have given each of us gifts and talents so we may enjoy life but also so we can share with others. Generous and loving people are needed for service and leadership in our church community. Help us to know how to encourage and support each other so that we can respond generously to this need. We know that You will be with us, inviting to become the kind of people You desire us to be. Help us to trust in You and in each other. Amen H O M E Mission Prayers Back to
  • 122. Religious Missionary Vows The Xaverian Missionaries pledge to serve the Lord and share the Gospel by a specific Mission Vow. Our ministries and religious life come together as our charism (a special gift of the Spirit through our Founder). See if the statements about the Religious Vows found on the next pages make sense to you and to your heart. The Mission Vow Blessed Conforti, in fact, defined a missionary as a “person of action in constant union with Christ, in whom he continually finds inspiration.” As one family, the Xaverians strive to provide a visible and credible sign of our mission by living in communities. They are made up of people of different age, nationality, formation and cultural background. For this reason, we live and witness this mission consecration through the Religious Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.   Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Tell me how you live Religious Vows. Is there any other vow that the Xaverian Missionaries profess? Continues next page Q/A Discernment
  • 123. Religious Missionary Vows
    • Poverty:
    • Detaching ourselves from material things and possessions.
    • Relying on the power and richness of the Gospel and not placed on structures, work satisfaction, or success
    • Opting for the poor and being in solidarity with those who have less.
    • Placing all we possess in common.
    • Adopting a truly simple lifestyle, which includes moderation and sobriety.
    • Sharing goods and means so as to better witness the Gospel.
    Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Continues next page Tell me how you live Religious Vows. Is there any other vow that the Xaverian Missionaries profess? Q/A Discernment
    • Chastity:
    • Committing ourselves to a celibate lifestyle.
    • Living a life of mature love and sound relationships.
    • Living our consecration with joy, without becoming lost in ourselves or excluding meaningful relationships.
    • Choosing to share love, intimacy and friendship with God and all we minister to, rather than loving one person exclusively (as in Marriage).
  • 124. Religious Missionary Vows
    • Obedience:
    • Willing to live and work not according to our own will, but God’s.
    • Searching together as one community for God’s will through prayer, reflection on events, respect and dialogue.
    • The service of the Superior is to coordinate, facilitate and bring together the needs of each member of the community, and keeps in mind the goals of our family.
    • Active and generous collaboration in the decisions taken.
    • Way of living in a community and participating its life, goals, hopes and work in an effort to carry out the will of God.
    Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Read and Reflect on the Writings on Mission of: Conclude your Meditation with: Put it into Action by: Prayer for the Gift of Faithfulness Contact someone to help you grow in understanding your call. Saint Francis Xavier Saint Therese of Lisieux Pope John Paul II Tell me how you live Religious Vows. Is there any other vow that the Xaverian Missionaries profess? Q/A Discernment
  • 125. From a letter written by Francis after surviving a violent storm at sea while traveling into the Malacca Strait. “ God our Lord wished to prove us by those dangerous trials and to bring us home to our inadequacy when we rely on our own strength or put trust in created things. God wants to show us how powerful we become by abandoning false hope and confidently turning to the Creator of the world, who makes us strong to meet the dangers encountered in God’s love. Those who are placed in such dangers meet them for God’s love alone. They believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that all creation is in obedience to the Creator and know clearly that the consolation of the critical moment prevails over the natural fear of death, since our days must come to an end. When the trials are over and the danger is past, it is not possible to tell or describe how they have affected us at the time, but they remain scored in our memory to prevent us from ever tiring in the service of so good a Teacher and they encourage hope for the strength necessary from God whose mercies are without end.” Religious Missionary Vows H O M E Back to St. Francis Xavier
  • 126. Therese of Lisieux, known as the “Little Flower,” had a strong will. As she entered the convent, she took the name of Therese of the Child Jesus. These are some of her words. “ Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and every word and the doing of the least actions for love.” “ I feel in me the vocation of a priest. I have the vocation of the apostle. Martyrdom was the dream of my youth and this dream has grown within me.” “ I understood that the Church had a heart, and that this heart was burning with love. I understood that love comprised all vocations, that love was everything, that it embraced all times and places… In a word, that it was eternal. Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out, O Jesus, my love… my vocation, at last I have found it… My vocation is Love!” Religious Missionary Vows H O M E Back to St. Therese of Lisieux
  • 127. These are excerpts from the Pope’s discourse to the Congregation of Evangelization. (1995) “ Missionary cooperation is primarily a faith event which gives first place to prayer, the offering of suffering and witness of life, and is concretely expressed in many forms… Nevertheless, it is with a full and lifelong commitment to the word of the missions, especially in missionary congregations that the heart of cooperation is reached. Here it becomes a radical choice of love for Christ and for our brothers and sisters, a vibrant witness and proclamation. Indeed, in the special vocation of missionaries for life – the model of the Church's missionary commitment, which always stands in need of radical and total self-giving, of new and bold endeavors – cooperation becomes total involvement in the word of proclaiming the Gospel. An effective and valuable contribution to mission, the fruit of the creativity of the Spirit who constantly rejuvenates the Church, comes today from the generous response of young people, professionals, Christian families, priests and religious who offer a part of their life for missionary cooperation in recently established Churches…” Religious Missionary Vows H O M E Back to Pope John Paul II
  • 128. Prayer for the Gift of Faithfulness Religious Missionary Vows
    • by Blessed Guido Maria Conforti
        • O God of goodness and love,
        • You wish all nations to be saved.
        • Grant us, we pray, the gift of final perseverance.
        • Make us faithful to Your grace,
        • so that we may reach
        • the perfection that You want from us.
        • We ask this through the blessings
        • of the death and resurrection of Your Son,
        • by the love You show us in the Eucharist
        • and through the loving care of Mary, our Mother.
        • Grant this through Christ, our Lord.
        • Amen.
    H O M E Mission Prayers Back to
  • 129. Suggestions for Growth Relax : find your own quiet place, and use music, candles, reading, and art. Keep a Journal : Writing a journal is a personal tool for growth, for personal integration, and for getting in touch with the flow of one’s life. If you feel comfortable with it, use it whenever needed and to the depth you wish. Don’t rush through your journal; you set the pace. Choose a Guide : None of us can go through the faith journey alone. Choose someone (a companion with whom you may consider to meet regularly) and whose experience allows you to tell your story, look at yourself honestly and gain some direction and support. Read and Meditate : It is a slow and thoughtful reading that leads to prayer and to applying the message to your life. Books should be rich in content and thought provoking. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Continues next page Q/A Discernment
  • 130. Suggestions for Growth Pray : Open your heart, indeed your whole person to the mystery of God’s role in your personal existence and in the world. True prayer goes beyond saying prayers and is intertwined with our daily life. Be a prayerful listener, reflecting, responding in simplicity and honesty. Serve : Give without rewards, among the poor, the lonely, the discouraged, the underprivileged. Look around and you’ll find so many organizations and volunteer programs that provide just that. Go beyond restricting your service to Thanksgiving and Christmas, but apply it all year around. Q/A on Discernment H O M E Back to Q/A Discernment