|In Atlanta, Archbishop Wilton Gregory received a group of YTM-Missionaries after Easter Vigil and encouraged their work|
"Hello! We are Catholic Missionaries visiting the neighborhood on behalf
of the local Catholic parish. Do you have any prayer
intentions, anything or anyone we can pray for?"
Those words were
repeated thousands of times during the second annual Holy Week
Missions, March 20-27, 2005, sponsored by Youth for the Third
Millennium and Missionary Families for the Third Millennium. Some two
thousand missionaries -- teenagers, young adults, moms, dads and their
children -- knocked on doors in parishes across the USA
and into Canada. Missionaries helped out in parishes in Sacramento,
Northern Virginia, Chicago, Atlanta and Quebec City.
This year marked
the second time Megamissions have been held in Atlanta and
Sacramento. The event was new to the three other dioceses.
Chicago alone, nearly 500 missionaries from all over the Midwest
took part, going door to door to pray with people
in twelve different parishes. More than 200 of the missionaries
– family teams including parents and children – walked the
streets of St. James of the Sag Bridge Parish in
suburban Lemont, Ill. Father Ed Greeley, pastor of the sprawling
St. James parish with its historic church built by Irish
immigrants who worked in a nearby limestone quarry, expressed his
gratitude to the missionaries on numerous occasions. He was glad
to see overflow crowds for several of the Easter Triduum
events and joked that "I knew the mission was a
success when a Baptist called up to complain."
Fr. Scott Reilly,
LC, territorial director for the Atlanta Territory of the Legion
of Christ and Regnum Christi, was in Chicago for the
Holy Week Missions and celebrated the opening mass for the
missionaries on March 23 at Chicago’s Immaculate Conception Church.
|«May we ask God to strengthen the Pope and his aides and open the hearts of men to the message of peace that Christ brought to us.»|
here for one main reason, "Fr. Reilly told the missionaries.
"You are here because you love Christ. And that love
inspires you to bring Christ to others. Nothing else explains
the sacrifices you make to come here," he said.
1995, YTM and MFTM have conducted over 520 parish-based missions.
They were inspired to conduct a large scale Holy Week
mission by a sister organization, Juventud Misionera, based in Mexico.
Juventud Misionera conducted its first large scale Holy Week mission
in 1994 with over 5,000 missionaries and last year, during
its 10th anniversary Holy Week mission, a record number 60,000
missionaries offered their time and talents to visit both rural
and urban areas throughout the Mexican countryside. This year, the
Mexican Megamission included some 70,000 missionaries, mostly youth and local
catechists, working with 130 Legionary of Christ priests to reach
25,000 villages and communities throughout 29 states of the Mexican
YTM and MFTM hope for similar growth in serving
local churches throughout the US and Canada.
For more information on
this Holy Week Mission including how to be a missionary
with YTM or MFTM, please visit www.ytm.org or phone
us at YTM headquarters in Bethesda, MD, (301) 365-3205. YTM and
MFTM are apostolic works of the Legionaries of Christ
and the Regnum Christi Movement.