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year of mercy

A Healing

Prayer works. I have seen it. So much of my brain wants to explain it away, but the obvious can’t be explained away. The obvious doesn’t need explanation.

In the late afternoon of the second week of November, we made a visit to a tiny community outside of General Cepeda, Mexico. We went to Oratorio Chico to pray with the people there in their small chapel. With the sun setting as I drove our twelve-passenger van down the long, violently bumpy dirt road to get there, I felt like I was looking out at the set of a dusty Spaghetti Western: shrubs and cactus peppered the landscape; patches of dry, sandy soil separated the vegetation; real tumbleweeds rolled across the road. Out here, the wind will blow around a piece of greenery, scattering its soil, until finally, without anything to hold it down, a careless gust flings the little plant spinning off into the desert. Read More

God at Work in Mexico – Intake 2016

It was such an unbelievable blessing to be back in our beloved General Cepeda, Mexico. It is a place that is so dear to our hearts, and the place Sarah feels more at home than any other place in the world. Aside from being the place we first met and the place God set my heart on fire for missions, it is also the first place we lived after we were married. God is good! We were there for the month of November with all of the missionaries in training for 2016. So many things happened, even in our first week there, that I felt compelled to share with all of you what He did. God was truly on the move! Read More

A Wedding in Nuevo Chimbote

Our friends Lider and Dolly in Nuevo Chimbote have three children together, two boys and a girl. Lider is 43 and Dolly is 32. When we first came into town sixteen months ago, neither of them had an interest in the Church. Lider was a drunk. Their relationship was strained. And then JESUS happened!!! Read More

The Davis Family – Intake 2016

Every missionary has a “call to missions” story. It’s the time in our lives when we distinctly heard God say to us, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mk 16:15). We are going to share the short version of God’s call to us. Our story really has two components: our call to missions and our conversion to the Catholic Church. Read More

The Master Has Need of It

by Maria Gehl, writing prior to moving with her husband and children to Big Woods for Intake 2016.

Now that we are committed to Family Missions Company, we have spent the past few weeks working on purging possessions, preparing a garage sale, and preparing to sell the house. I have to be honest: sorting all the possessions for a family of 7 into takestoreselldonate, and trash piles is nothing short of overwhelming. It isn’t so much the lifting and moving of boxes as much as letting go of the security and comforts of the stuff we keep. We keep a storage room full of hand me downs for the kids because then we know they will always have more than enough clothes. We keep a closet full of games because then we know we will never be bored (hypothetically speaking). We have a kitchen full of more pots and pans than we could use in one meal because we are sure to have the perfect tool to use with the recipe we are trying. You get the picture. Read More

Breast Cancer – Be Gone!

As day faded into night and the celebrations for our village’s patron saint came to an end, we wandered around the plaza visiting friends. We planned to enjoy the final hours of the celebration before returning home for a much-needed good night’s sleep. We realized that God had other plans when our friend’s son rushed up and said, “My mom needs you right away!” We darted through the crowd and down the dark, dirt road to their home where we found our friend sitting with two crying women: Corali and her sister. This is what they explained… Read More

In Memoriam: Robert James Edmonston

Our dear friend and missionary, Robert James “Mr. Ed” Edmonston, went on to Eternal Life on September 19, 2016.

Ed lived a full and diverse life. Born on November 26, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois, he graduated from high school at Mt. Berry Schools in Rome, GA in 1958. He served in the United States Army as a supply engineer in Heidelberg, Germany from 1958 to 1961 and as a medical corpsman in Baumholder, Germany from 1961 to 1962. Ed attended college at the University of Alabama in Gadsen, AL, Christopher College in Corpus Christi, TX, and Mt. Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, OR. In the ensuing years he held a wide variety of jobs in all over the United States, from Kentucky to Alaska. In the early 1980s, he became very interested in living a monastic life and soon became a Benedictine monk, living for over 20 years in a number of Benedictine communities, including Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas. Read More

Crucible of Love

You think you’re a good person until you live in community… Then you realize you are the most selfish, vain, conceited creature on the face of the planet. Read More

When God Calls

Sometimes God calls us to do quite simple things – like “Go and pray for a friend” or “Help your sister change her flat tire.” These things can be quite ordinary, but nonetheless they eventually reveal to us more and more, in some capacity, who the person of Christ is. Our lives so far as a family have been filled with these “simple things.” Take the kids to school; pray before dinner; teach your son to ride a bike; etc, etc. And we have certainly seen the face of Christ in all of them. But over the last few years, we have sensed that God was moving us in a deeper way – we just were not so sure exactly what that was… Read More

A crowd gathers for Mass at mission chapel

I Lift My Eyes Up Unto the Mountains

The roosters had just begun their Monday morning crowing when it was time to get up and prepare for the day. Our family awoke, quickly preparing a small snack breakfast before Fr. Leo, Sr. Marie Eugenia, and a religion teacher named Garvin came to the house to pick us up on our missionary adventure to the mountain communities above our town of Leoncio Prado. Read More

Michael getting water from the well in their family mission house

No Water // Kids on Mission

Michael Carmody, 7, serves with his family in Peru. 

When I turn the faucet on, I expect water to come out. Today we turned the faucet on and nothing came out. When this happens I usually go into the backyard and switch a switch for the pump in the well to turn on. It takes about a half hour for our tank to fill up.

Today we turned the pump on for 40 minutes but the water never came out. I looked in the well and saw the water was too low for the pipe. Read More

FMC Missionaries are living the teachings of the DOCAT!

DOCAT: What I’m doing NOW

After reading the DOCAT, a newly published adaptation of the social doctrine of the Church, one quote stood out to me as a summation of my missionary life and a summation of how my life reflects the ideals talked about in this book:

“’God’s love never ends.’ (1 Cor 13:8). He goes after us, looks for us in our caves and hiding places, wishes to come into contact with us. He wishes to show us who he is.” (DOCAT p. 20).

Many times, the Lord uses us, His children, to go after the ones who seem the most lost. At one time, I was the lost one, but His love found me! Shortly after, the Lord made it very clear that He wanted me to act as His flashlight in those caves and hiding places, chasing after the “Lost Sheep.” Read More

catholic, missions, asia

“Walking, Talking Social Doctrine” in Mission

Growing up in the upper middle class of a big city in lndia, it was easy enough to look away from the needs of the poorest of the poor. The young people of my parish devoted themselves to their studies, to football, to parties, to romantic relationships, to singing in the choir, to dressing well. Some of the “holier” ones attempted a closer walk with Christ through reading the Bible, personal prayer time, and attending retreats. Read More

Missions At Home

Ever since I found out I’d be coming home to the States, I’ve been asking myself how to reconcile my two lives into one. How can I enjoy my visit home and at the same time not forget my missionary vocation? How can I continue saying yes to Jesus each day? Read More

The Tale of the Free Wedding Dress

Full disclosure: This is NOT the wedding dress or the bride the story is about, but I’m not allowed to post pictures of her until the actual wedding. Fair enough.

“Let’s go wedding dress shopping!” A normal statement for a maid of honour to make to a bride-to-be. But this wasn’t a normal situation. Kristi* and Annie* were Americans, working as full-time Catholic missionaries in one part of Asia, and the conversation was happening in another. And the bride wanted a free wedding dress. Read More

Love What Matters

I recently started seeing a lot of posts from the Love What Matters movement on my Facebook feed. It’s touching.. stories, photos, and videos that highlight what’s really important in life, especially when there are so many negative things in the news and in our own lives that try to steal our focus and our joy.

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Building a Bridge of Trust with a Muslim Neighbor

In her book Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry Weddell wrote about the five stages of conversion. The theory is that when people come to know Christ and commit their lives to Him, it is not usually something that happens in an instant, but involves a journey. The journey begins with “initial trust,” which is when a person is able to trust or has a positive association with Jesus Christ, the Church, a Christian believer, or something identifiably Christian. A bridge of trust is needed.

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