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Family Missions 2006: A Holy Week Witness to Christ´s Love
In numerous cities and countries in America, Europe and Asia, thousands of Catholics participated in one of the Regnum Christi Movements signature events: the Holy Week megamissions.

Misiones de Semana Santa en Chicago.
Youth for the Third Millennium, a Regnum Christi apostolate, welcomed Holy Week missionaries to Chicago and several other cities.

In numerous cities and countries in America, Europe and Asia, thousands of Catholics participated in one of the Regnum Christi Movements signature events: the Holy Week megamissions. Regnum Christi members Louis and Monica Judd, who live in the northern Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati, went with their two pre-school children, Christian and Maria, to join other families in door-to-door missions in and around Chicago. The missionaries prayed with people and invited them to services at the sponsoring parish. Louis Judd shares his insights and experiences.


Wednesday evening, April 12, we gathered with the other missionary families and youth missionaries at Chicago´s Immaculate Conception parish for the opening Mass. The atmosphere was electric and it was beautiful to see so many missionaries all joined together for the cause.

We saw so many friends from various places that it was more like a family reunion than anything else.

Thursday morning, April 13, all of the missionary families met at St. Daniel the Prophet, a parish in one of the heavily Polish neighborhoods on Chicago´s northwest side. The family missionaries all went door to door in this parish. By my unofficial count, we had about thirty adults and seventy children. Several states were represented as many missionaries came from far away: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Arkansas.

The neighborhood was so Polish that many people don´t even speak much English. One missionary family learned how to pray the Hail Mary in Polish and shared the lesson with the rest of us, bringing smiles to many faces.
I wanted to learn enough Polish to say  "Please share your chocolate," but I just couldn´t get the pronunciation down. Maybe next year.

That Holy Thursday morning, we had a brief training session to learn how to conduct the mission outreach door-to-door, followed by a mini-retreat and lunch. Our mission in knocking on doors was threefold: ask for prayer intentions, let people know of the Holy Week ceremonies and take a parish census. Then we hit the streets -- or as our 2 year old son Christian would say,  "time to go to see people".

The missionaries were split up into four groups serving four different  "zones" wthin the parish boundaries. Along with some friends from Fort Wayne, Indiana, we were assigned to Zone 4, which was furthest away from the Church.

The neighborhood consisted of perfect little squares - ten houses, stop sign, cross the street, ten more houses, etc.
Misiones de Semana Santa en Chicago.
The missionaries filled Immaculate Conception Church in Chicago for the Holy Week Missions opening mass.
Each house was
about the same size and each had at least one dog. We split the street down the middle: we took one side and another missionary family to the other.

In all we had 3 mission sessions: Thursday afternoon, Friday morning and Saturday morning. Other families went out more often than we did but since our cjildren are ages two, one and  "in the womb," a 3-hour session per day was about all we could handle.

Whenever a family we would visit would offer us an intention to pray for we would then ask if they would like to say a Hail Mary. Then our two-year-old prayer leader - Christian - would lead us in prayer. I am sure he and one-year-old Maria did more for those people than we can ever imagine.

Many people were pleasantly surprised to see Catholic Missionaries. At three different homes, people told us that they had lived in their houses for over fifty years and had never received a visit from a Catholic representing the local parish. We felt proud to be the first. At one home on Thursday, we were treated to Root Beer and cookies on the steps. Christian and Maria won them over. Numerous  "nice ladies" offered us cookies for the kids - an added perk.

We were invited into one home. It was sad yet hopeful at the same time. The woman we spoke with has four daughters and her husband was filing for divorce after 20 years of marriage. But the woman said she is willing to try and have her husband speak with a priest in hopes of saving the marriage.  She was a wonderful example of humility and forgiveness. Please remember her and her family in your prayers.

During our last session on Saturday, as visited the last house on our list, we met a man who nearly came to tears he was so happy that a Catholic missionary would come to his home. He was of poor health but had a magnificent smile and a huge heart. He must have thanked us about thirty times.

In all, we knocked on 78 doors and 38 answered. Almost everyone was polite. I did get one  "door in the face" but at least the door slammer said  "no thanks," so we chalked that up as at least partially polite.

The funniest reply came on Saturday. A lady pulled up in her car right
Misiones de Semana Santa en Chicago.
The Judd Family, smiling with joy during the 2006 Holy Week Mission at St. Daniel the Prophet parish in northwest Chicago.
in front of a home. We asked if she lived there and she said no and then proceeded to enter the house. We were all in a good mood so we just laughed and moved on about ten feet to the next house. I guess asking if a person lives there is a bad opening line.

One man directed his sprinkler directly onto his porch and front door when he saw us coming. I guess his door needed watering. We knocked
anyway - our little Christian Marcial loved getting wet. The homeowner did not answer but when we got two houses down he left wearing his baseball uniform.

I guess the saddest part of the mission was hearing quite a few people say that they did not have anything to pray for. We would ask them for prayer intentions ..."your wife, children, health" and they would say, "No, everything is just fine."

The MegaMission was a marvelous experience and truly a grace. We highly recommend making it a family tradition for Holy Week. There is a one day mission in Northern Kentucky on May 13th if you would a  "taste".

May God bless you and Happy Easter!
The Judd Family



Related links web site
Mission Network
Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center and the Center for Family Development
Changing Hearts
Cancun-Chetumal Prelature
Helping Hands Medical Missions

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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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