Is God Calling You?
Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus sent his disciples out as missionaries to the ends of the earth telling them that: “the harvest is plenty, but laborers are few.” Today, His words are as urgent as they have ever been. The world desperately needs missionary evangelism and service. Two thirds of the over 7 billion people in the world today have never heard the Gospel of Jesus preached; that is to say that most of the world has yet to be invited into a saving relationship with Jesus!
At Family Missions Company, we are lay, Catholic, missionary families and singles engaged in proclaiming the Gospel and serving the poor in foreign lands. We firmly believe what Pope John Paul II wrote in his encyclical “Mission of the Redeemer.”
God is calling many people today to proclaim the Good News. Do you feel called to be a full time missionary? We hope and pray that if you do, you will respond generously to that call with your whole heart, with your whole life. Indeed, it is a great challenge, and those of us who have given our lives as missionaries know that there is no better life than one given completely in the service of the Gospel.
All Catholic families and laity are called to the apostolate of evangelization and sanctification of our world today. There is exciting growth in the numbers of Catholic lay missionaries and families with children giving their lives to foreign mission. Please contact our office if you would like additional information; we would love the opportunity to talk and pray with you. Jesus is begging His Father to send laborers into the vineyard – the task is urgent, come with us into the fields!
All Catholic families and laity are called to the apostolate of evangelization and sanctification of our world today.
"No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church, can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.”
Our Way of Life
Each of us is called to holiness of life and we find our “rule” for life in the teachings of the New Testament. As missionaries, we are called to live God’s Word as Jesus did, to proclaim it boldly to others, to work it into the fabric of human society and culture, to extend God’s love to all, especially to the oppressed, suffering, and poor.
We accept our daily crosses and redemptive sufferings, in poverty, humility, and a sometimes hidden life.
We are a people of praise, thanksgiving, and rejoicing, truly happy to be among those send out by the Lord.
We go forth to sow the seed of God’s Word, following the lead of the Holy Spirit, who is the principal agent of evangelization. We open our sails to the wind of the Spirit.
As Catholic laity, we are formed by the teaching of our Church Magisterium, working in concert with her pastors.
We accept our calling as it is presented to us in Pope John Paul II’s “Mission of the Redeemer”, and in the Vatican Council II documents on “Missionary Activity” and “Apostolate of the Laity.”
We seek to live in communion with God in personal and common prayer, enlightened by God’s Word, nourished by the Sacraments, living in community and service. Our worship is centered in the Eucharist. We frequent the sacrament of confession, receiving forgiveness and counsel.
Our missionaries come from diverse places and backgrounds, they bring diverse perspectives, talents, and charisms. We are diverse and we are called to serve a diversity of people, all of us together living in unity with Jesus and the Father, in the Spirit.
We go out two-by-two, as families, or in teams, to live among the people to whom the Lord sends us, proclaiming the Gospel there. We believe we have a great deal to learn from the people, because “missions is a two-way street… we go to give what we have, but we always receive more than we give.”
The fruitfulness of our lives as missionaries depends, in large measure, upon the prayers, material support and sacrifices of the entire people of God.
We have seen and heard the cries of multitudes of God’s children awaiting the revelation of Jesus Christ – to be visited, taught, healed, delivered, forgiven, and shepherded by Him. Jesus is the one Way to the Father. We have seen that the poor are very open and happy to hear the Gospel, many reform their lives and follow Jesus.
Yes, the harvest is great, but the laborers are few. God is calling many, many Catholic laity and families to become missionaries – just as He first sent forth the missionary family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to bring His Gospel into the world.
- PRAY! We encourage you to spend time in prayer seeking the Lord’s will, reading the Bible. Ask the Lord to really show you if He is calling you to missions.
- We recommend you read Go! You are Sent and Our Family’s Book of Acts, an autobiography by Genie Summers (Frank and Genie are the founders of FMC). Reading Genie’s book, will provide you with an understanding of our history, spirituality, and approach to mission life. You may contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a copy of her books.
- We encourage those discerning missionary life to read the Book of Acts, which is the account of the Early Church’s missionary activity. We also recommend reading Mission of the Redeemer, Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on mission. He talks about the urgency of missions and the need for full-time missionaries in the world.
- Persons wanting to discern their calling are invited to “Come and See,” a four-day retreat, which provides a taste of our way of life and an opportunity to meet and pray with our community. “Come and See” also serves as an orientation, before candidates return home to further discern whether the Lord is calling them to serve with FMC.
Come & See is a 5 day visit to Big Woods, the Family Missions Company mission base in Abbeville, Louisiana. During your Come & See, you will participate in the life of the FMC community and find out what is involved in becoming a Catholic missionary with Family Missions Company. You will have an opportunity to meet with the Directors of FMC and fellowship with them and other FMC missionary staff as you discern a your potential missionary vocation. Children are most welcome!
Come & See Dates for 2017
March 8th – 12th
April 5th – 9th
May 31st – June 4th
August 9th – 13th
Each Come & See begins on a Wednesday night at 6:30pm with our weekly Mission Formation prayer meeting and ends Sunday at noon after Mass and community brunch. During Come & See we have time for prayer, study, fellowship, and work projects, giving you a glimpse into what its like to go through Intake. You will also learn about the practical details of what it means to be a missionary with Family Missions Company and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about entering into full time missionary life.
The fee is $100 per adult which covers housing and meals during your stay.
For more information contact Erika, our Missionary Coordinator, at email@example.com or 337-893-6111.
Formation – Intake
Full time missionaries make a minimum two-year commitment, beginning with Intake, three months of training and formation at our mission base in Louisiana, and continuing with mission service at a designated mission post. Our missionaries’ first year of formation consists of:
- Intake, 3 months of training at our Big Woods mission in Louisiana (including a 3 week outreach to Mexico), followed by 9 months of missionary life in the field. During your first year, you will have monthly Pastoral Sessions with our Directors who will counsel you, pray with you and encourage you to grow into the missionary God is calling you to be.
Missionaries undergoing formation enter fully into FMC’s community life: living a simple life in humble accommodations, sharing meals in common, and serving one another.
Intake is a time of intense study, work, prayer and community life. Missionaries undergoing formation enter fully into FMC’s community life: living a simple life in humble accommodations, sharing meals in common, and serving one another.
We keep the cost of formation as low as possible. Intake Fees are adjusted as necessary each year. They cover: housing accommodations, all community meals (90% of Intake meals are eaten in community), utilities, tuition and training expenses, a 3 week Mission trip to Mexico, each missionary’s first official Beg/Newsletter and mailing costs (ask about our family rates).
A mission team consists of at least two singles, or one family, who live and work together at a mission post. FMC will assign both your mission post and mission partner(s) at the end of Intake. Your mission team commits to work at a certain post and with their mission partner for at least one year. After your year of formation, you are free to discern other team possibilities.
During your three months of Intake, you will be in constant communication with the Directors of FMC. Together you will pray and discern where God is calling you in mission, and you will be directed to your first year’s mission post. FMC receives requests for missionaries from all over the world, so every year different mission posts become available. After your first year in mission, you can choose to serve wherever there is availability. If you have a desire to serve in a particular country, FMC can help you to discern if God is calling you there, and help you to find a parish in which to serve.
No we do not. However, healthcare costs in the third world are a fraction of costs here in the States. In addition, it is fairly inexpensive to purchase international health insurance if you desire, and many of our missionaries (children and pregnant women) qualify for Louisiana’s Medicaid program.
FMC missionaries support themselves by writing letters to potential benefactors, speaking at their home churches, and other fundraising activities. Our missionaries live in poverty among the poor, and often our families live on less than $500 a month in missions, with singles requiring even less. If God has called you to missions, He will provide. We help you to compile a list of benefactors from among your family, friends, and broader community, and to draft a letter requesting funds. Most of our missionaries are easily able to raise the funds they need to stay in mission.
We are looking for people who are completely in love with Jesus, faithful to the teachings of the Church, and docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. There are no educational requirements, and singles must be at least 18 years old and one year out of high school. (Of course children are always welcome with their parents). Take a look at our FMC Charisms to see what kind of people we are.
After the three month training period, FMC requires a two year commitment from its full time missionaries. We hope that many of our missionaries will embrace missions as a lifelong vocation!
While we consider your first year, a year of formation and training, all FMC missionaries undergo a three month intensive training program called Intake. Intake takes place at Big Woods Mission in Louisiana, usually from September to December (be sure to call for this year’s dates). All of our aspiring missionaries live together in community, along with our Directors and other experienced FMC missionaries for these months, studying, praying, sharing and serving. Intake is an intense formation experience for all, however, accommodations are made for families with small children. We study Scripture, Papal Encyclicals, the Catechism, Vatican II documents, and other texts to understand the Church’s teaching about mission and incorporate this learning into our life of service. We pray together in community and individually every day. We eat together, and learn to live in missionary community. We participate in outreach and service to the poor here in Louisiana, and on a mission trip to Mexico. Since food and housing are provided for you during these three months, there is a fee for Intake. Please call the office for details. (We have seen the LORD always provides the resources necessary for those He is calling. We would be happy assist and coach you in raising the funds for Intake.)
Yes, yes, and yes! Family Missions Company loves and encourages families with any number of children to become full-time missionaries. (We currently have a missionary family with ten kids.) Our programs and outreaches are designed to allow families to learn, grow, and serve together as mission teams.
If you are a Catholic single above 18 years of age, or a married couple, or family with children, Family Missions Company is excited to help you become a full-time missionary. The first step, after prayer and discernment has led you to consider mission work, is to contact the FMC office (337-893-6111 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and schedule a Come and See. Come and See is a long weekend visit to the FMC base in Abbeville, Louisiana, where you participate in the life of the FMC community, and find out what being an FMC missionary is like. You will have an opportunity to meet with the Directors of FMC, and have all of your questions about becoming a full-time missionary answered.