|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.
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
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
|"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."|
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!
a retired Protestant minister said he knew Fr. Kane and
appreciated seeing the Catholic Church’s efforts to evangelize.
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
by Fr Juan Guerra, LC, an additional group of young
|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
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 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.
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
|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
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.”