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  #1  
Old Jan 27, '08, 1:15 pm
Brady Brady is offline
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Join Date: January 10, 2008
Posts: 45
Religion: catholic
Default Looking for information on Missionary work

Missionary work?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello evreryone;
I have a question about missionary work, I'm not the best typer in the world so I'll give a brief outline.

I was raised in the church but had a very rebellious early adulthood. I married a protestant girl I met when I was 13 years old, joined the electrical union and was making 80 grand a year. Life was good.

Then my son was born (who I love very much). He is autistic and his mother is his entire world. Well the stress of everything ruined the marriage no matter what I tried. I had in the meantime rededicated myself to the church. Funny how somethings change your outlook.

Now, the only obligation I have in life is a reasonable child support settlement.

The missionary field has been in my mind for a very long time, but it seemed unreasonable untill lately. Lately the urge has become more and more insistant but I've no idea where to go with this. I have 30 years left and have no desire to spend it stockpiling money and things (as my grandfather rolls in his grave). Now I realize I'm not the best talker in the world, but in 30 years I can wire alot of medical clinics and homes.

Anyone know what I should do? It seems that everyone I know has the opion that I am either cuckoo for cocopuffs or suffering from sort of depression over the divorce. Of a marriage that ended 1 and 1/2 years ago and should have ended 3 or 4 years sooner.
Now in all honesty my son's situation causes me great anxiety at times (thanks for your prayers) but that situation will be there for the rest of my life and I can't just wallow in self pity until it is majically ok.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. And for you out there who know me better, let me stress I plan to wire buildings and witness by example. So hopefully my normally antiganastic personality wont show to much.
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  #2  
Old Jan 27, '08, 6:09 pm
reggieM reggieM is offline
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Join Date: March 27, 2006
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Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Looking for information on Missionary work

Well, there are a lot of opportunities out there for you and the need is great for someone with your skills. I would encourage you to look into being of service of that kind. I would think that your life-situation would make it a very good think for you to do. God needs your good missionary work a heck of a lot more than corporate America does. (That is if you can afford it going into retirement years).

Let's face it, Evangelicals are taking a lot of Catholics through their own missionary work througout the world -- I think we have a lot of work ahead of us.

I think the best approach to start would be to check out some of the many religious orders that specialize in missionary work and see if they could use your help as a lay-volunteer (I'm pretty sure they would love to have you).

Posting here was a good first step. Pray and make a few phone calls and see what's out there. You could work just about anywhere. We need missionary work right here in the U.S., that is for sure.

I think you should find a Catholic community where you can go to Mass daily and build friendships and keep your spiritual life strong because you'll need that doing missionary work. There are a lot of souls for God to save and there are a lot of battles to wage in doing so.

I wish you the best success.
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Old Jan 28, '08, 9:01 am
stbruno stbruno is offline
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Join Date: June 4, 2004
Posts: 10,741
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Default Re: Looking for information on Missionary work

Many parishes sponsor mission trips for young adults as well. Find out from your diocese where and how you can get involved. Also many dioceses have peace and justice committees that work with the poor, the disenfranchised etc. in soup kitchens, half way houses etc. You can volunteer at local children homes like Mercy home for Boys and Girls, or Misericordia Home etc. Or work with St.Vicent dePaul societies or Knights of Columbus in helping those less fortunate.There are many places you can do mission work right here in the US. Even things like Volunteers Across America or Peace Corps. God bless you. Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto me, says the Lord. The world is open to your help.
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  #4  
Old Jan 28, '08, 7:05 pm
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JReducation JReducation is offline
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Default Re: Looking for information on Missionary work

Hi Brady,
Thank you for your desire to minister to poor. They are often forgotten by those to whom God has given so much talent. I am reminded of something that Einstein once said when asked why he did not copyright his work. “Knowledge is freely given to us and is meant for all.”

I recommend that you contact the Maryknoll, Capuchin Brothers, or Jesuits. I know they have volunteer corps that work in the USA and abroad as well. You may also want to contact your local office for Catholic Charities.

A friend referred me to your post, as I too am involved in ministry to people with autism. As I read your post, I notice that you and I have some things in common. Originally, I achieved a BS and BA in mathematics and philosophy. I wanted to go on to graduate school to study theology, but my parents could not afford to pay for that.

I needed a job, after college. During high school and college I had volunteered to tutor kids with learning disabilities at our local Yeshiva. I taught math. I sent out some resumes and was quickly picked up by a school for children with developmental disabilities as a math teacher. I spent six years at that school. While there I took courses at the local university to get certified in special education. I didn’t get the degree, because I still had my heart set on attending graduate school for theology; but special education paid the bills. I also attended every workshop and continuing education course available to me.

Eventually, I went for the MA in theology and then the PhD in Philosophy of Theology. During that time I met a young medical doctor and we married. We had three children. Our youngest was diagnosed with autism at age four. Two months after this, my wife was driving my father and our three children to the beach. They were in an auto accident. My wife, father and oldest son were killed in that accident. I was left a widower with a nine-year old daughter and a four-year old autistic son.

I realized that God had been preparing me for this very special time in my life. My theological background taught me that God is a merciful God and a wise God. He never leaves us alone. As I looked at my two young children I knew that I had to do something that would make a difference in their lives, the Church and the world.

For many years I worked as Director of Pastoral Care for a Catholic diocesan foundation for people with developmental disabilities. This allowed me to apply my knowledge of theology and persons with special needs. I served as an educator to priests, deacons, religious, catechists, seminarians, and lay people who wanted to serve those who have developmental disabilities.

The years passed and an opportunity came to go to a developing nation to found a college for teachers, social workers and counsellors for people with developmental disabilities. It was a private secular university that invited me to join their faculty and start this college, but I saw it as a call from God to serve this population. Eventually, that project was complete and I moved to the USA.

Today I run an institute for children and adolescents on the autistic spectrum. I not only do admin work, but also a lot of spiritual care of the families who live with the challenge of autism.

I then thought about my parish and wrote a proposal to my pastor to begin a ministry in our parish for families who live with developmental disabilities. He liked it. Today, one of our parish priests and I are working on the design of such a ministry. We have not gotten off the ground yet. It will take several months before we have trained volunteers, but it’s in progress.

By the way, I also worked closely with my son’s schools. He studied with the Sisters of thee Immaculate Heart of Mary. They knew nothing about autism, but were willing to help. They helped him and I helped them learn. Today, my son is a college freshman majoring in art.

I share this with you as a testimony of hope. God gives more than he takes away, if we are generous with the poorest of the poor. Hang in there. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like.

God bless you

JR
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