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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Wherever God Wants
A Full Time Lay Missionary shares what this program has meant to him.

ETC Antonio Artemio
Antonio Artemio is currently a serving as a Full Time Lay Missionary at the CIDECO, The Center for Integral Community Development, in Acapulco.
Antonio Artemio, one of the first Full Time Lay Missionaries, shares his thirteen years of experience at the service of Christ and the Church.

My name is Antonio Artemio Ibarra Romero and I have been a member of Regnum Christi and the Full Time Lay Missionaries for thirteen years. I am happily married with three children, one of whom is studying to be a priest at the Minor Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Acapulco (Mexico).

Before becoming a Lay Missionary I lived in San Jeronimo, a town near the Costa Grande, about three hours from Acapulco in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The first mission that I organized there was for 150 young people.

What have I loved most about my work as a missionary? Before I arrived there the only people who came to Mass were women with one or two men here and there. Yet now after a few years of work, courses, home visits, evangelization missions and pilgrimages, more than half of the attendees are men.

A few years ago I was moved to the Plácido Domingo CIDECO, The Center for Integral Community Development, in Acapulco. The change was very difficult because the people of San Jeronimo didn’t want
ETC Antonio Artemio
The number of faithful at daily Mass gradually rise due to the work of the missionaries.
me to leave, but a missionary belongs to the universal Church. Making it more difficult was the fact that we were moving to a place where we didn’t know anyone and the work of evangelization had to be started from scratch.

When I arrived my director asked me to help out at the Mano Amiga, Helping Hand, Institute in the mornings teaching catechism classes to all of the elementary school students. The schools directress was thrilled I was able to lend a hand. The afternoons I dedicated to evangelizing at the CIDECO.

After a few months of work Father Aquileo, our pastor, was very happy with the results. I was recently named the liturgical coordinator for the parish. This has enabled me to help form everyone who needs to participate in the liturgy: Acolytes, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, etc.

It has been a wonderful blessing to be a part of the Full Time Lay Missionaries, one of its co-founders, in fact, being of the second generation. It is also a great responsibility to pass the torch on to the future generations.

For more information on the Full Time Lay Missionaries please visit the Catholic World Mission Web site.

(May 27, 2003)



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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