Not long ago, Colleen Mitchell from St. Bryce Missions visited our office in Chicago to tell us about using the CATHOLICISM series to evangelize in the poorest areas of Costa Rica. The account of the Mitchell family and the eucharistic community of service they founded in the underserved, remote villages of Costa Rica is inspiring and beautiful. Today, following World Missions Sunday, we have invited Colleen to share her story with you. Please keep their work in your prayers.
Blessed John Paul II writes in his encyclical Missio Redemtoris that the “The mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion…and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service.” As the Church celebrates once again World Missions Sunday, we are reminded that this mission of the Church is not yet completed. As a matter of fact, John Paul II reminded the Church that the need for missionary activity is more urgent than ever. The Church’s mission ad gentes, the initial proclamation of the Gospel to peoples who do not yet know Christ, is not complete. And another aspect of mission, the call to the new evangelization, has arisen as the need to strengthen and revive the faith among Christianized nations becomes more urgent every day as secular society places itself more and more in direct opposition to a Christian world view.
The Lord still calls to us as a Church today to go out into the world proclaiming the Good News that our God lives, that He saves, and that His great love for us has redeemed us in turn. This is the primary mission of the Church. It is carried out daily in our established parishes and dioceses in developed nations in the sacraments, the Mass, and the presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Our catechetical and charitable ministries further this mission by extending a hand to our brothers and sisters as they take those initial steps into the light...
Today is the feast of St. Luke, one of the four gospel writers who, according to tradition, was also an artist and a "writer" of icons. Fr. Michael Cummins shares this artistic gift with St. Luke. Today, he explains how icons are more than mere paintings and can only be truly appreciated when we completely change our "perspective."
St. Luke is known as a fellow worker with St. Paul, an evangelist (the author of the gospel that bears his name and the Acts of the Apostles) and a physician. For iconographers, St. Luke is revered as the first (according to tradition) to write an icon of the Blessed Mother. In iconography, the verb “to write” is used rather than “to paint” as an icon is considered visual theology. Now, to my knowledge, there is no known or authenticated icon that can be directly traced back to the hand of St. Luke but I, for one, have no problem with considering this tradition a possibility.
Luke was obviously a well-educated and gifted man with many skills and abilities. In the first few verses of his gospel Luke establishes that his sources were some of the very people who were “eyewitnesses and ministers of the word…” Luke is the only one of the evangelists who lays out a full and in-depth account of the annunciation and incarnation to Mary as well as her visit to her cousin Elizabeth. Is it inconceivable that he might have met Mary herself?
Luke accomplishes through his account of the good news what the iconographer seeks to do visually through the discipline and skill of writing an icon. Luke brings the reader of his writings into a direct encounter with the living Christ.
We could all use a little help, but Kerry Trotter is feeling like a lot of help is in order these days. She's due with her second child any day now, and is exercising her maternal right to worry needlessly, needfully, excessively, etc. But St. Gerard Majella, the patron saint of unborn babies and expectant mothers, whose feast we celebrate today, is waiting in the wings.
I, in my addled last month of pregnancy, could use all the help I can get.
Some recent requests: hoisting my toddler daughter into the car, giving her baths, feeding the dog (the smell of dog food — more repugnant now than ever), remembering appointments, picking up clumsily dropped items, getting out of chairs, etc., etc.
I need help with all of it.
Luckily, I have an incredible husband who, not only intercedes on my behalf, does so enthusiastically. He’s crouching, bathing, hoisting, feeding and recalling for two these days, since his normally has-it-together wife can’t seem to get out of the bathroom long enough to tend to the needs of her kin.
Too much information?
Anyway, such is the ninth month, where the anticipation of baby grows even larger than the belly itself, and the discomfort of pregnancy has come to a climactic head (pun intended) that serves as robust incentive to get the show (again, pun intended) on the road. This is all by incredible design, as that second trimester “glow” and the delight of creating life needs to give in order for mom to really want that baby out. If it were all clear skin and the muffin top-stifling powers of maternity jeans, pregnancy could be a four-, or even five-trimester affair. But that feeling of a teeny tiny foot stomping your bladder like it was a barrel of grapes (mmmm, wine…) is fueling my eagerness for her arrival, and she, too, I imagine is eager. Quarters are getting a little cramped, and I’m sure the thought has occurred to her more than once: “I shoulda brought some reading material.”...