The missionary vocation is not just for consecrated religious. Adventurous lay missionaries have always played an invaluable role in the spread of the gospel throughout the history of the Church. The missionary participates in the sublime and saving work which Christ started on the Cross and continued through His Apostles. Like a prophet, she proclaims the truth in the face of worldly ignorance and show how only charity will save the world. In union with Christ’s sacrifice she offers up her energy, time, and sufferings for the sake of other souls. How can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”(Romans 10:14-15). View a slide show about volunteering as a lay missionary.
According to Your Schedule
We gladly welcome the help of lay volunteers in many of the countries in which our Religious Family serves the Church both here in the Province of the Immaculate Conception and throughout the world. Mission trips can last for as little as two weeks to as long as several months. Some volunteers go on their own or with a small group. We have also received parish youth groups and university Catholic centers who have asked for an opportunity to volunteer together. The unforgettable adventure of a mission trip can be a life-changing experience, and it is an wonderful way to spend a Spring Break or part of winter or summer vacations.
A Variety of Mission Sites
Our sisters are currently working in 35 countries around the world. We have sent volunteers to work in our parish missions, orphanages and homes of disabled children in Albania, Argentina, Chile, Guyana, Peru, Taiwan, and Tunisia.
Past Missionary Experiences
In 2009, two young women from Maryland traveled to Guyana during Lent. They organized and ran ‘after-school activities’ for children throughout the Essequibo Coast and Pomeroon River (the area of mission served by our small religious family). From the moment they arrived, they did not lose a moment in learning about the culture, in meeting the people, and in truly spreading the joy that comes with being a Catholic Christian. Learn more about the experiences of past lay missionaries.
In order to place the lay missionaries well and to understand the type of mission they are prepared to serve, we have an application and interview process. Especially when the applicant wishes to volunteer for a long period (several months or more), the applicant may be invited to have an on-site visit to one of our local convents in the US in order to meet our religious family and to determine more clearly where the placement will be best made. To inquire about mission possibilities or to begin the application process please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pope Benedict XVI highlighted the global nature of charity in his encyclical, Deus Caritas Est:
“Concern for our neighbor transcends the confines of national communities and has increasingly broadened its horizon to the whole world. Significantly, our time has also seen the growth and spread of different kinds of volunteer work…For young people, this widespread involvement constitutes of school of life which offers them a formation in solidarity and readiness to offer others not simply material aid but their very selves (30).”