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Showing posts from April, 2014

God Humbles Us Out of Love

Striving towards a fuller and deeper discipleship often draws the attention of others, and at times even praise.  The danger is when we begin to internalize that praise, attributing to ourselves what rightly belongs to the Holy Spirit.  As missionary disciples, we are asked to "walk humbly with [our] God" (Micah 6:8).  Of course, as human beings, humility will always remain elusive.   Even to think of ourselves as humble is an act of pride and ego.  Yet, by being open to the Spirit, we can at times find ourselves humbled, if not humble. 
During the past week, I joined with colleagues and fellow missionaries to represent Maryknoll at a national conference for Catholic educators.  In sharing with teachers, principals, and others the work that we in Maryknoll are doing, I personally received thanks and praise from multiple people.  While heartening, this praise makes me all the more grateful for two difficult, humbling moments on the last day of the conference.  The first occu…

Moving Towards a Culture of Mission (Full Text)

This article appeared previously in four parts.  Here now is the full text.


Moving Towards a Culture of Mission By Kevin Foy Associate Director, Western Region Maryknoll Mission Education and Promotion Download (PDF)

Part One - A Culture of Bridging Distances
One of the challenges in mission is dispelling the notion that missionaries are those chosen few sent out to do wonderful things in the world, while the rest of us stay home.  In the past, this mantle was reserved almost solely for the women and men religious of missionary societies and orders (like Maryknoll).  Today, we tend also to include lay people who go out into the world, and even may have “mission projects” in our parish, such as a sister parish relationship.  While these are welcome developments, one of the essential challenges today is to move beyond the “special” person/project view of mission to embrace mission as the defining characteristic and purpose of our Church.  Put more simply, we need to move towards a culture of m…

How do I grow in my faith through suffering?

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Pope Francis remarks in Evangelii Gaudium, "There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent with Easter. I realize of course that joy is not expressed the same way at all times in life, especially at moments of great difficulty. Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved." We offer this Lenten Reflection by our good friend, Dave McKeown given after the Soup Meal at All Saints Parish on April 3rd. Although he suffers with ALS he is able to be a light of joy and hope to us all. How do I grow in my faith through suffering?By Dave McKeown
They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” And He went a little beyon…

Moving Towards a Culture of Mission: Part Four

Cultivating a true Culture of Mission in our Catholic parishes and communities is in many ways the essential challenge of our Church today.  In this final part of the four part reflection, we look at some starting points for moving towards a culture of mission. (Part One / Part Two / Part Three)

By Kevin Foy
Associate Director, Western Region
Maryknoll Mission Education and Promotion

Part Four: Towards a Culture of Mission

The nature of mission and the challenges to living it described previously set the stage for how we can begin to authentically move towards a culture of mission in our communities.  First and foremost, we need to remember that it’s God’s mission, not my mission.  (It would bring us a long way towards true missionary discipleship if we included that statement in our daily prayers.)  In terms of living out this understanding, there are a few things right off the bat that we can and should strive to incorporate and internalize in our communities:

Make discernment and p…

Moving Towards a Culture of Mission: Part Three

Cultivating a true Culture of Mission in our Catholic parishes and communities is in many ways the essential challenge of our Church today.  In Part Three of the four part reflection, we examine some the challenges to authentic mission in the parish context.(Read Part One / Read Part Two)

By Kevin Foy
Associate Director, Western Region
Maryknoll Mission Education and Promotion

Part Three: Mission Roadblocks

In a recent issue of Maryknoll magazine, I read about Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Nairobi, Kenya (see article).  The article explains that the deaf have traditionally been marginalized in Kenyan society, and that this parish takes great pains to include them.  They do so by reserving the front rows of the 11:30am Sunday Mass for members of the deaf community, offering sign language classes, having a signer at Mass so that people with hearing impairments can participate fully in prayers, hymns, and the sacraments, and even petitioning bishops to allow the deaf to join the priest…

Moving Towards a Culture of Mission: Part Two

Cultivating a true Culture of Mission in our Catholic parishes and communities is in many ways the essential challenge of our Church today.  In Part Two of the four part reflection, we explore how missionary transformation occurs in individuals and communities. (Read Part One)

By Kevin Foy
Associate Director, Western Region
Maryknoll Mission Education and Promotion

Part Two - Missionary Transformation: Inside Out (and Outside In!)

The notion that short-term mission or “border-crossing” experiences need to translate into holistic missionary discipleship really hit home for me while I was in Bolivia last summer.  My ministry in Maryknoll involves leading such encounters for US Catholics, but when I went to Bolivia it was my first such trip since my son had been born.  I became distinctly aware of the fact that my family was allowing me to leave them for a time to grow closer to Christ, and that I was called to let that encounter transform how I relate to everyone back home.  More than just s…

Moving Towards a Culture of Mission: Part One

Cultivating a true Culture of Mission in our Catholic parishes and communities is in many ways the essential challenge of our Church today.  In Part One of the four part reflection, we examine what this really means.

By Kevin Foy
Associate Director, Western Region
Maryknoll Mission Education and Promotion


Part One - A Culture of Bridging Distances
One of the challenges in mission is dispelling the notion that missionaries are those chosen few sent out to do wonderful things in the world, while the rest of us stay home.  In the past, this mantle was reserved almost solely for the women and men religious of missionary societies and orders (like Maryknoll).  Today, we tend also to include lay people who go out into the world, and even may have “mission projects” in our parish, such as a sister parish relationship.  While these are welcome developments, one of the essential challenges today is to move beyond the “special” person/project view of mission to embrace mission as the defining charac…