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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Atlanta Holy Week Missions 2010
A mission of service to local parishes and communities.

live stations of the cross
A live Stations of the Cross, ending in the crucifixion.

Atlanta, Georgia. April 14, 2010. This year, 275 missionaries from the Atlanta and Louisiana area, including a few who traveled from Mexico, participated in the 3-day Holy Week missions in and around Atlanta. The missionaries split up into smaller groups, going to different locations to serve local parishes and communities.

A group of 60 missionaries, made up of families and young women, spent their Holy Week serving at San Felipe de Jesus Catholic Mission, a local parish in Forest Park, just south of Atlanta.

The missionaries offered the community a daily meditation, opportunities for confession, a free lunch, fun catechetical activities for the children, and door-to-door visits. They were also honored to participate in a live re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross. Teenagers were invited to a talk on the theology of the body, and married couples learned about natural family planning during a 3-day program.

There were moments during
Boys on missions in Hartwell
"The final goal is not for people to know a few more things, but to be able to meet God and experience his great love."
the mission when the grace of God was visibly working. The missionaries observed how one woman’s face and disposition were visibly transformed from anger to peace after receiving the sacrament of confession.

Encountering diversity

Meanwhile, a team of boys ages 14-16 visited the Hartwell community on behalf of Fr Terrance Kane at Sacred Heart of Jesus parish. It wasn’t clear who was more surprised when they saw a pair of Jehovah witnesses who did not expect to see Catholics witnessing door-to-door!

Likewise, a retired Protestant minister said he knew Fr. Kane and appreciated seeing the Catholic Church’s efforts to evangelize.

Fr. Kane said, “The missionaries were well received by the diverse community we serve including the Vietnamese and Hispanic people. Each group worked together with the parish and played their part in preparation and in service of the mission.”

A kaleidoscope of missions

Accompanied by Fr Juan Guerra, LC, an additional group of young
missions in San Felipe de Jesus
Missionaries at San Felipe de Jesus Catholic Mission.
men went to St Paul the Apostle parish in Cleveland, where they visited Hispanic families and organized the parish storage room, painted, and did yard work for the priest and a parishioner.

Others traveled to Cornelia, which does not have a Catholic church, for door-to-door outreach.

Still others traveled to Helen, where they found a giant wall painting of the first Native American to be canonized, St. Kateri Tekakwitha. The painting, on the second story of a local store, was spread across three panels measuring 6x10 feet. The store had been purchased by a real estate agent, who wanted to paint over it, but the Grand Knight of the parish worked with the owner to preserve the image. To help the cause, the missionaries painted boards and replaced the old ones for the store owner.

Missionaries assigned to Mary Our Queen in Norcross performed humanitarian service projects for Good Shepherd Services,
missionaries at Mary Our Queen.
Missionaries and parish staff at Mary Our Queen in Norcross.
an organization that helps refugees and immigrants, with after-school programs, English classes, cultural enrichment, and counseling services.

St. Mark’s parish in Clarksville also participated in the Holy Week Missions and was served by a group Pinecrest Academy girls ages 14-16.

A group of college women at the site of St. Michaels Church, Gainesville, were inspired by the live Stations of the Cross. “They were very moved and felt that they had truly participated in the passion and death of our Lord,” said Christiane Esser, mission leader.

The young women’s team from Pinecrest Academy taught parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Carrollton, how to be courageous missionaries. They were so excited by what they experienced through their first door-to-door missions that they want do regular missions and invite the community to
St Kateri Tekakwitha missionaries
Missionaries paint boards to help preserve the image of a giant wall mural of St Kateri Tekakwitha in Helen.
visit their parish.

Another group of college women took time from school for mission work with St. Andrew, Roswell. Monsignor Hugh Marren, pastor of St. Andrew, said, "I was impressed with the great zeal, joy and excitement they exhibited in their work. It is wonderful to see young people who recognize the privilege of their religion and who are so joyfully committed—they were a great witness to the faith of the Church."

As Pope Benedict XVI said, “The missionary responsibility must again become strong within us: if our faith makes us glad, let us feel bound to speak of it to others. The extent to which people will be able to accept it will then be in God’s hands.”



Related links

Helping Hands Medical Missions
St Rafael Guizar y Valencia Missionary Center

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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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