Maryknoll is helping form and support communities of missionary disciples, particularly with the Hispanic Community through its, Discípulos Misioneros Maryknoll Program.
In March 2015, the team went to the Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas, to offer a day of missionary formation with the theme "Building Community of Missionary Disciples.” More than 260 youth and adults participated. The facilitators were Sister Angela Erevia MCDP, Director of Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese and Juan Lara and Deacon Gustavo Escrucería from Maryknoll.
The day began powerfully with opening prayer and remarks by diocesan Bishop John B. Brungardt. He then joined with participants in a ritual in the Sacred Place. Each person brought a small container of water and poured their water into a large bowl, remembering their baptism and unity with God. As each person contributed their small amount and it was combined with all the water and became part of the whole, each person there came as an individual but became part of one community.
The participants were actively engaged in each of the sessions. They reflected on their own calling as missionary disciples, and as a group discerned how the Holy Spirit was directing them to be a community who goes forth in joy to share the Good News of God’s love.
We finished the day in the Sacred Place. First, we gave the leaders of the community a copy of “The Joy of the Gospel” by Pope Francis. Then in a closing ritual for everyone, each participant was given a mission cross and sent to “Live the Gospel with Joy.”The participant left with a stronger appreciation of their baptismal call to participate in God’s mission, and a renewed passion to go and form communities of missionary disciples in their own areas, especially in their families, neighbors, workplaces, and schools and the other places where God’s love is needed most.
Gustavo Escrucería is a Maryknoll Mission Promoter and deacon for the Diocese of Oakland.