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Missionaries share their stories—and they are ‘eye-popping’

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/06/16

From The Catholic Telegraph:

The nearly two hundred men, women, and students who attended the US Catholic Mission Association (USCMA) national conference in Cincinnati last month come from different areas of the world and in serve different ways, but they all agree on one thing: Mission isn’t something you do, it’s a way of life. “It’s pretty crazy to hear all this,” said Ryan Girgash, a junior at Xavier University, where the conference was held. “I’m born and raised in Cincinnati. To hear all these people from all over the world… their stories are eye-popping.” Sister Victoria Oleka, a member of the Daughters of Divine Love, felt the same way. After doing mission work in Jamaica for 10 years, she moved to the United States to serve in urban New Jersey, and recently moved to her congregation’s farm in Illinois. “It’s eye-opening for me,” she said, particularly the reaction of young white students to a tour of the Freedom Center. “If these young people can feel sorry for something that happened a long time ago, what does that say to we older ones? If they are changing their thinking, what are we doing? Are we coming up in the old mentality, or are we bringing this compassion to others? “I am so happy to be here,” she added. “This vision here is really going to change the world if we can impart this to our communities and to the hierarchy of the Church.” Missions to developing nations, to violent urban areas, and to the rural (largely non-Catholic) United States may seem to have little in common. But while the tasks and environments are different, missionaries say, the spirit is the same. Before becoming involved in mission work, Xavier student and conference panelist Haley Beavers said, “I thought I could never be a missionary. I’m just me. But I realized that mission isn’t just the big protests and starting mass movements, it’s how I live my life every day.”

Read more.

Photo: The Catholic Telegraph

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