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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Mission Hope: A New Outreach Born of One Woman´s Cross
Online network teaches suffering souls how to find the meaning and fruitfulness of their cross.

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Mission Hope now has over 500 members in 20 countries.
July 21, 2009. Rome, Italy. When Marcela De Maria y Campos was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001, she had no idea that in time this incurable degenerative disease would become not simply a cross, but a blessing for herself and others. She could not have foreseen how God would use her experience to raise up a worldwide apostolate reaching hundreds of suffering souls in 20 countries on 5 continents.
It all began when she started offering her daily, self-administered injections for specific people who needed prayers. “I realized that if I didn´t do them for someone (with an apostolic intention) my life would become more difficult by the day. I know that love is the strongest power in the world, and out of love for others I am capable of doing what I could not do for myself,” she said.
Before long, she began to see the fruits of answered prayers. A friend’s uncle on his death bed, who had refused confession for decades, had a last-minute change of heart and requested the sacrament before passing away. A marriage on the rocks was saved. A young girl running from her vocation found the courage to answer God’s call with love. As the years went by, she began to envision each soul and each sacrifice as a treasure to be placed in an invisible “satchel” or bag, her only piece of luggage on her journey to heaven. Her mission, from the cross, was to win graces for those souls entrusted to her.
At the same time, she began to realize how much she also needed the people who requested her prayers. Their urgent petitions were a daily reminder that her suffering had meaning and value, and that even in her apparent helplessness, she could help others when she united her pain with Christ. Suffering with purpose and with love enabled her not to be crushed by her cross, but on the contrary, to embrace it with hope.
Raising up a Battalion with Baby Jesus
Seven years later, Marcela De Maria has shared her secret “satchel” with other suffering souls worldwide through a new apostolate called Mission Hope, founded in September of 2006. This new web-based apostolate is meant to be a virtual meeting place where people can learn about redemptive suffering, find spiritual and practical solutions to help them cope with their cross,
Baby Jesus
The Mission Hope Baby Jesus, napping on a bed of toothpicks and cotton balls.
communicate with others to receive and offer support and encouragement, and request and offer prayer intentions.
Through Mission Hope, God is raising up a battalion of prayer warriors… with the Baby Jesus as their symbol.
Each new member of Mission Hope receives a gift to remind them of the ultimate source of encouragement and meaning in their daily crosses: a tiny baby Jesus that they can easily slip into their pocket and take with them wherever they go.
Why a Baby Jesus?  Marcela De Maria explains:
“Carrying the same cross every day brings with it a unique experience of one’s own weakness and helplessness. Along with looking at the crucifix, it helps to contemplate the baby Jesus and learn to identify ourselves with Him in his helplessness, his littleness, in his total dependence on his parents. He was God, but He couldn’t speak, or walk, or do almost anything… and nevertheless, even from his cradle, lying down all day, He was redeeming us, because He was fulfilling the will of his Father… He is the little companion who accompanies us each day, with whom we can share our feelings of helplessness, of littleness, of uselessness… We ask Him to give us patience and hope, and from his constant company we learn that, like Him, we can win countless graces for souls by fulfilling God’s will for us with simplicity and love.”
A Participation in His Cross
Mission Hope does not offer any quick solutions to the problem of suffering, but it seeks to help its members discover the mission and meaning hidden within their pain. Although this mission does not take away the cross, it can transform it – from a sign of misfortune to an instrument of hope and redemption for countless
cross for mission hope
Mission Hope does not offer any quick solutions to the problem of suffering, but it seeks to help its members discover the mission and meaning hidden within their pain.
As a worldwide network of people who want to offer their suffering for a positive purpose, Mission Hope has gotten off to a strong start with over 500 members. The new Mission Hopeweb site, launched in September 2008, is bound to attract thousands more.
While still in its initial stages, the apostolate has already shown some striking signs of God’s action in the lives of the members. A young girl suffering from depression joined Mission Hope and began offering her illness for others in union with Christ. For the first time in many years, people saw her smiling again. Her depression still afflicted her – the cross was not taken away – but she had found the supernatural joy that lies just on the other side of suffering and it gave her the strength to keep going forward.
One member said, “It is a privilege to be part of this project, this mission of saving souls with the littleness of my being, with the weakness of my body which so often frightens me, but today can give a purpose to my life. From now on, I am going to fight much more to maintain my life of grace and my prayer life, and I will take advantage of all the pain, the tiredness, and every moment of the fight to place these things in my satchel and offer them for souls, especially for those who need me the most. I will pray for each by name to give a meaning to all these things which I cannot change, but which I can use for good.”
Similarly, a man with a terminal illness encountered Mission Hope in his final months of life, and learned to live his illness with purpose and joy. In his final days, his face was full of a radiant hope that hadn’t been there before – and when he drew his final breath, his baby Jesus was at his side.
Mission Hope is an apostolate that flowers in the shadow of the cross: a witness to the creative love of God, who knows how to bring good out of every evil, and how to draw blessings from our times of darkness.
“When we look around us we see the urgent need for cultural and personal transformation.  This will only happen by the grace of God and through the power of prayer.  In this light, Mission Hope is going to harness our greatest assets—those who have been blessed with suffering and who are willing to learn how to unite their suffering to the suffering of Christ, for the sake of his Church and the world.  We need Mission Hope.” Father Jonathan Morris, LC (Fox News Analyst and author of The Promise: God’s Purpose and Plan for when Life Hurts)
To find out more about Mission Hope:
Visit the web site at
Request more information at



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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