Antonio Artemio, one of the first Full Time Lay Missionaries,
shares his thirteen years of experience at the service of
Christ and the Church.
|Antonio Artemio is currently a serving as a Full Time Lay Missionary at the CIDECO, The Center for Integral Community Development, in Acapulco.|
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
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
|The number of faithful at daily Mass gradually rise due to the work of the missionaries.|
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
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.
information on the Full Time Lay Missionaries please visit the
Catholic World Mission Web site.