Catholic Missionary Programs?


I recently completed a Mechanical Engineering degree, and while trying to decide what to do next with my life it occurred to me that this would be the time in my life I was most free to spend time doing some sort of missions work for the Church, however knowing that my real gifts are strongly set in the field of problems solving and design work I'm not entirely sure whether or not there are really any opportunities for me to volunteer through a Catholic program. I know there are a lot of opportunities for me to offer my services through general secular networks (I could even volunteer small blocks of time remotely through the internet), but I can't seem to find anything to do with Catholic specific work. I know it is true that I could simply do normal missionary work which would not involve using my degree, but I honestly feel that I would be misusing my talents in that case. Any advice/thoughts? It is also worth noting that my local diocese has had a non-existent young adult program as of late, and that if I were just to find a normal job here I would more than likely be put in a leadership position in an attempts at starting a new program.


I am currently serving in Mexico as a missionary, and we are in need of new volunteers. Although I'm not exactly sure how your Mechanical Engineering degree would be used (since I would have to talk to the priests in charge of the mission), I am positive your aid would be of service. Here is the information I recently posted about the mission:

I am writing this on behalf of the Catholic Community of St. John. In Saltillo, Mexico they have an urgent need for missionaries. They have built 3 mission houses to serve the community in various ways. At the forefront, the Community sponsors children, from severely impoverished circumstances, by paying for their private education. This is done through donor donations. They are in need of missionaries to live in the houses and help the students with their schoolwork, since they are being given an amazing opportunity they would not have otherwise. The missionaries also visit families in the surrounding areas, to pray with them and to determine whether anyone is in need of dire help. For the most part, the missionaries do these house visits in order to be a good influence on children's lives. The mission houses also provide medicine (with the presentation of a prescription) as well as a soup kitchen.

Currently, I am serving in Saltillo and have seen the amazing impact the missionaries have had on the community. It is important to note that, although I have given a general overview of what the missionaries do, there are various needs in the community that need to be filled. Missionaries do not necessarily work with the scholarship students or in the soup kitchen, everyone is placed according to their skills and abilities. Speaking Spanish is not a requirement, since there have been many volunteers who came and learned Spanish during their term of service.

Within the next 3 months all of the current volunteers, from all 3 houses, will be returning to their homes. As such, the situation is rather dire, and the community is in desperate need of new volunteers. Room, board, and food are provided. Basically, all your basic needs are met, and you only have to pay for your plane ticket here.

Please, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I researched and prayed about a variety of mission opportunities, and I am glad God led me here. Although I haven't been here very long, I am having an amazing time and would hate to see the community suffer a lack of volunteers. Also, if you know of anybody that would be interested in coming, spread the word! If you are not in the position to volunteer, I ask for your prayers. God Bless.

Just as a bit of background about myself, I graduated with a Business Management degree. I was in the same position as you, I wanted to be a missionary directly after college because I had the time and opportunity. Once you get a "real world job", there is no guarantee you will ever have the chance to go on a mission again. If you feel a desire to serve, I guarantee you will not regret following your instincts.


Hey JMJrock,

My wife and I have been seeing your half dozen posts on this forum re: the Community of StJohn’s need for help. We’ve visited their site(s) and find their spirituality beautiful. We’ve been discerning missionary work for our whole family (we have six kids ranging from 1.5yr - 13yr olds), and are very interested in learning more about the community’s work in this area, particularly at Saltillo. Do you know if they do/can accept entire families, and what’s involved in preparing for such apostolic work?

Like you said their web sites don’t speak about missionary work for the lay family but who can give us more info? How can I send you a PM - can you give me a contact?

May God bless your work and love for Him,
Peter & Tam Truong


Any updates? :slight_smile:


There aren’t too many nuns who are also water engineers. Marella Rebgetz, is a water engineer nun. She has a degree in water management.

She is employed by the government of Kiribati to help address that country’s critical water needs caused by the rising sea level and the increasing salination of drinking water. One of the threats of rising sea levels is contamination of the fragile fresh water lens that lies under the islets ringing its atolls.

Sean Dorney, the ABC’s Pacific Correspondent, has made a video report showing find out how Marella is helping to solve Kiribati’s critical water needs as a water engineer.

Marella is a Good Samaritan Sister from Australia. There are two communities of Good Samaritan Sistes in Kiribati They are engaged in a variety of ministries: primary education, youth ministry, and working with people with disabilities and mental illness.


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