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What is the missionary impulse? Find out!  Details about Proclaim 2014!

What is the missionary impulse? Find out! Details about Proclaim 2014!


What is the missionary impulse?

This missionary impulse is implicit in our baptism. We Catholics are baptized into the Church. The blessing of our baptism is not only that it brings us into relationship with God, and into relationship with every member of the Church, but we are baptized into the mission of the Church.

What is that mission? Jesus made it plain.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

-Matthew 28: 19-20-

Our mission is to not only BE disciples ourselves, but to help MAKE disciples. The Gospel is not only an invitation, but also our marching orders: To be like Jesus by following him and imitating him. That’s the missionary impulse.

The emphasis is on “GO”.  We’re talking verb, not noun. We must go out and do this. We build the church by discipleship.

The missionary impulse is the church on the move to reach others, even the ones we may not like. It is a measure of our success or failure.

This is a most challenging and provocative call. And Pope Francis’ vision, above, above requires a kind of courage and boldness to not only be about our faith life, our own spiritual needs, but about the needs and hopes others. It is a call way outside of a private way… As if it is just me and God. It is a call to be with, to do for, and to grow alongside in relationship with others.


Proclaim 2014 is a Catholic Missions Conference. Here’s the scoop from their press release.

Excitement is building for Family Missions Company’s 2nd annual Proclaim – Catholic Missions Conference. Join us for a powerful weekend, November 1-2, at the Ramada Conference Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. Come and be a part of the missionary impulse that will transform the world. This year Proclaim has something for everyone; individuals, families, youth leaders, and even whole parishes will be infused with new life and passion for the Gospel. Dynamic conference speakers include Bishop Sam Jacobs, Fr. Louis Merosne, Dr. Carole Brown, Michael Gormley, Frank and Genie Summers.

This conference will challenge you to deepen your faith, and leave you with a heart and conviction for evangelization. At Proclaim, hunger for Jesus becomes zeal for the Gospel. Inspired by Pope Francis’s exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Proclaim is uniquely committed to being a catalyst in the missionary transformation of the Church. Fuel your missionary zeal and be inspired to passionately live Gospel joy!

Eager to learn how to share the Gospel? This breakout session: Gospel Catholicism is for you! Learn the basics for sharing God’s word, and be transformed into a modern-day evangelizer.

Pope Francis calls us to “transform everything”. Is your church parish, ministry, or family, ready to embrace the missionary impulse? Learn how in this breakout session: The Church’s Missionary Transformation.

Feeling Called to greater commitment to Christ? Be inspired by full-time Catholic lay missionaries in the session The Challenge of Missionary Spirituality. Discover why the Gospel is the Good News that is worth giving everything for!

This year, Proclaim includes a Youth Leaders’ Track and Children’s Ministry and promises to be unlike any other conference you have ever attended! Beyond inspiring you to embrace God’s mission in your life, Proclaim will reach hearts and lives around the world! Every penny of profit from this conference will be used to advance the Gospel in Asia.

To learn more about Proclaim – Catholic Missions Conference, visit www.Proclaim2014.com or call 337-893-6111.

Family Missions Company is a Catholic ministry founded in 1996. This ministry is dedicated to spreading the gospel and serving the poor both here and globally. FMC trains and sends out families, as well as single men and women who have heard the call of Jesus to leave everything behind and follow Him. FMC relies totally on God’s providence through the generosity of others who support our ministry and works of charity. FMC’s home base is in Abbeville, LA. For more information, go to www.fmcmissions.com or www.facebook.com/fmcmissions.

You might also appreciate this video:


To be honest, I’ve never traveled to a foreign country to evangelize or be part of a mission trip. When I was growing up I was never encouraged to do that, but I do have a Catholic school memory of collecting funds and praying lots of prayers for the missions. When I was older, I didn’t travel much because of its expense. I took my first plane ride when I was 22.

In the years of working and raising a family, my husband and I tithed to support the mission of the church. Part of that support has always gone to those in need, and some of that support has gone to mission work in foreign countries. These days, many Catholic school encourage mission-mindedness among their students. I’ve been inspired by my children’s participation in mission endeavors and by the works of others.

We have financially supported the missionaries we know, whether they traveled for a short-term trip or for a long-term placement. That brings me back to Family Mission Company. Among Women listeners and readers of this blog may recall my conversations last year with Jonathan and Kristen Weiss, my friends who live the missionary lifestyle with their two boys.

Thanks to the internet, I have had the experience of having my written words and my recorded spoken words reach to foreign nations. About 20%  or 10,000 of the last 50,000 downloaded Among Women podcasts have reached listeners in countries outside the USA. 3% of that number have reached into Canada, and the 17% remainder have reached listeners on other continents. So as one little catechist and a microphone, I’m learning the ways of online evangelization, one download at a time. Yet online evangelization never can replace face to face conversations. That is why we must meet people in person. That is how the church first came into existence and it is the way of evangelization still today. Someone shared the good news with me. I must, in turn to do the same.

Share this with your parishioners and friends. Share the video on Facebook and Twitter or whatever social media network you enjoy. Help us spread the word about Proclaim 2014.

The world is waiting.


Photos and video courtesy of Family Missions Company.

Have you seen these daily Advent reflections reading through Evangelii Gaudium – “The Joy of the Gospel”?

I’m over at Kelly Wahlquist’s place today where many people are reading through and reflecting on Pope Francis’ latest Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, translated as “The Joy of the Gospel.”  The section I was assigned to cover was not exactly joyful… it was Francis’ outline of the difficult state of affairs that our world is in — EXACTLY a world that NEEDS the JOY of the GOSPEL. 

So don’t get depressed by all the bad stuff our world faces, get excited that Jesus has a plan of repair and redemption!

Here’s a snippet…

If you just begin reading “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium) (EG) by diving into Chapter 2, and picking up this section from paragraphs 59-75 describing the challenges we face in our society, you might find it rather depressing.

You may ask, where is the joy of the gospel in all of this?

I predict some first-time readers of magisterial documents — folks who dared to venture into reading this large document based on their love for and interest in Francis — may be tempted to stop their reading because the challenges seem too big, too widespread, and too disparate.

But, intrepid readers, especially those tuned to the current Advent season, know why Francis must speak this way

To discover the beauty of light, we must experience profound darkness. 

To understand redemption we must first know sin.

To find joy in evangelization we must be lovers of the lost, the least, the little, and the lonely.

Francis is a realist, and he offers a reality check for the Church’s mission. Indeed, acknowledging the brokenness of our cultural landscape is not to promote despair, but to chart a reliable plan for repair. In this way Francis can “encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come (EG, 1).”

Read the rest, and the other reflections that will appear every day through Advent!

You can also follow the Facebook page for this series.

This makes me think… about what broader opportunities may exist for women in the Church

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 10.12.37 AMThe Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess. I think, for example, of the special concern which women show to others, which finds a particular, even if not exclusive, expression in motherhood. I readily acknowledge that many women share pastoral responsibilities with priests, helping to guide people, families and groups and offering new contributions to theological reflection. But we need to create still broader opportunities for a more inclusive female presence in the Church. Because “the feminine genius is needed is all expressions in the life of society, the presence of women must also be guaranteed in the workplace”* and in the various other settings where important decisions are made, both in the Church and in social structures.

Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded. The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general. It must be remembered that when we speak of sacramental power “we are in the realm of function, not that of dignity or holiness”. [73] The ministerial priesthood is one means employed by Jesus for the service of his people, yet our great dignity derives from baptism, which is accessible to all. The configuration of the priest to Christ the head – namely, as the principal source of grace – does not imply an exaltation which would set him above oth- ers. In the Church, functions “do not favour the superiority of some vis-à-vis the others”.[74] Indeed, a woman, Mary, is more important than the bishops. Even when the function of ministerial priesthood is considered “hierarchical”, it must be remembered that “it is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ’s members”.[75] Its key and axis is not power understood as domination, but the power to administer the sacrament of the Eucharist; this is the origin of its authority, which is al- ways a service to God’s people. This presents a great challenge for pastors and theologians, who are in a position to recognize more fully what this entails with regard to the possible role of women in decision-making in different areas of the Church’s life. 

Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, “The Joy of the Gospel”, 103 and 104.



72 Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 295.

73 John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 December 1988), 51: AAS 81 (1989), 413.

74 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (15 October 1976): AAS 68 (1977) 115, cited in John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 December 1988), note 190: AAS 81 (1989), 493.