Father Hervé de Penfentenyo, a priest among the Incas

Father Hervé de Penfentenyo has been living with the poor in a rural area of Peru since 2012. He carries out his ministry in schools and with the homebound. After several assignments in Brazil, he answered "yes" when his bishop informed him that he was thinking of sending him to Peru. "This being sent on a mission, which was not personally chosen, is a real guarantee of peace, strength and joy!” he exclaims.

Sister Judith and Sister Marie-Jeanne, on a mission in cowboy country

Sister Judith and Sister Marie-Jeanne arrived in Kansas City 11 years ago, and have become witnesses of divine Providence in a disadvantaged neighborhood. Members of the congregation of the Little Sisters of the Lamb, they beg for their meals every day, knocking on people's doors as a sign of God who lowers himself and becomes a beggar. "Behind every door, there’s a dramatic story. But faith hasn’t been abandoned," they tell Aleteia.

Sister Nadège: Women first

"I’m ready to go wherever the mission calls me.” This is the credo of Sister Nadège, who, at only 28 years of age, already has considerable missionary experience. Originally from Burkina Faso, the young nun is a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of the Apostles, which is particularly at the service of women and children. As a missionary in Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, and Togo, she has mainly cared for women in very precarious situations, including those forced to live as prostitutes.

Will Conquer, the modern-day missionary

A young missionary who is just 30 years old, Father Will Conquer, priest of the Foreign Missions of Paris, is thirsty to proclaim the Gospel to the nations, especially to Asians. "They have no one to proclaim Christ to them," he told Aleteia. "I can't stay in the comfort of my own little house.” After several missions in India and Vietnam, he left in October 2019 on a mission in Cambodia.

Sister Julia Aguar, "the angel of Benin" at the service of the sick

In Benin for more than 40 years, Sister Julia Aguiar, a nurse by training, understood very early on that God wanted her skills to be put at the service of the sick. Nicknamed "the angel of Benin," she’s received many awards for her work in this country, including an honorary doctorate in medicine and surgery. At the heart of Sister Julia's commitment are two priorities: the health of the poor and the desire to witness to God's love for all.

Sister Monique, in the service of prisoners

At 70 years of age, Sister Monique Lorrain, of the Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary community, visits prisoners every week at Korhogo prison in Côte d'Ivoire. "Prison is a place of suffering. But even where there is most suffering, the Resurrection arrives," she tells Aleteia. Having entered the Xaverians at the age of 20, she was sent to Chad, then to Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and finally to Côte d'Ivoire, where she has been living since 2009.

Father Yann Vagneux, a friendly presence among Brahmins and sadhus

Father Yann Vagneux, 43 years old, a priest of the Foreign Missions of Paris, bears witness to the Christian faith among Hindus. Sent to northern India in 2012, Father Yann lives on the banks of the Ganges, where no other priest has been sent for more than 25 years. There, he has experimented with a "ministry of friendship" with people of the Hindu religion. The conviction he carries in his heart? "If the Church is Catholic, it means that it wants to meet every human being."

Sister Annarita: From the Italian countryside to the slums of Manila

For 27 years, Sister Annarita has been a missionary in the Philippines, in Mandaluyong City. She lives there among the poor, with some sisters of her congregation, the Fraternity of the Little Sisters of Jesus. Born into a modest family of five children in northern Italy, Sister Annarita felt a call to missionary life at an early age. For her, "the essential is not whether you do big or small things, but to proclaim the Gospel through our lives."

Father François, parish priest in the "Switzerland of Cambodia"

François Hemelsdael, 47, a native of Lille, has been a missionary of the Foreign Missions of Paris in Cambodia since 2007. His mission? To create links with those entrusted to him, by conversing with them in their own language. In a few years, he’s seen many animist families convert to the Christian faith. "Animism is a religion of fear. Christianity frees them from all this," he told Aleteia.

Father Emeric, a man of peace in Madagascar

Over the past 20 years, Father Émeric Amyot d'Inville, of the Lazarist congregation, has welcomed 400 people to the home he manages in a small town in Madagascar. "I try to be present to all without distinction. Everyone is welcome here," explains the missionary, who, like St. Vincent de Paul, is committed to bringing the Good News both by word and deed.

In the Philippines, Sister Sophie de Jésus and her "gang of sisters"

Sister Sophie de Jésus has been on a mission in the Philippines for almost 20 years. With the ACAY association, which she founded in 2000, the 50-year-old missionary with a fiery temperament has put herself at the service of local youth in difficulty. In particular, she offers guidance to people in situations of delinquency, and to their families. Her dearest wish? To help youth to get up and move forward.

Father Jean-Marc Balhan, God’s witness in Anatolia

Since the summer of 2001, Father Jean-Marc Balhan has been pastor of the Catholic parish of Ankara, Turkey. The 52-year-old Jesuit, of Belgian origin, was sent there after several years of ministry in Egypt. His mission in Ankara is varied: visiting isolated communities, giving the sacraments, and participating in interreligious dialogue, among other things. "My role is that of the leaven in the dough," he sums up with conviction.