I have looked for several years for a religious order, using many Catholic resources, that has a charism for physical labor with a vocation to serve the persecuted Church.
As close as I've found is the Divine Word Missionaries, but I don't feel like a good fit for them. I don't often use words like "dialogue" or "social justice" or concepts like social programming.
It's just a matter of style rather than belief. So please don't think I don't believe in the efficacy, they've won a lot of converts, and I'm very happy for them.
I consider as personal heroes figures such as St. Vincent Ferrer, who just walked right into a synagogue and converted everyone in it. He converted 8,000 Muslims too. I tend to take the bold approach.
I've also considered, for that reason, the Dominicans. But as I mentioned, my charism isn't necessarily preaching, its working with my hands, more like a carpenter or a cook.
I just have very little interest in working in schools, like Jesuits, even though they tackle some very difficult missions, where the Church is persecuted.
So it has me thinking:
"Oblates to the mission of Saint Joseph, the Foster Father who tends the Persecuted Christ with the work of his hands, by obedience to the Word of God, and consecrates himself to the Immaculate Conception."
Sounds about right. St. Francis and Mother Theresa had similar views regarding preaching, "preach the Gospel at all time, and if necessary, use words." That's kinda my attitude.
Where to begin: The Sudanese borders of Uganda and Chad is what I had in mind. I think I would want this mission to be in one part like a supporting mission, providing physical support for other teaching, preaching, nursing missions, etc. From there, it could expand to serve the Church in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, Turkey, China and Vietnam. Where next? Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Eritraea, Bhurma, Cambodia, Pakistan.
Who am I? I'm a Cavalry Scout for the U.S. Army. I have an undergraduate degree in Communications, and have completed three years of seminary, completing pre-theology, and have completed the program at the Jesuit-run Institute of Priestly Formation.
I was once an orphan, then a foster child, then adopted. But I learned to be street smart at a young age. Our family later was finally able to move to a more rural setting.
I'm not a chef, but I paid my way through college working in restaurant kitchens. I can work with any food and cook just about anything.
I want to help tend the children of these war torn countries by bringing them the three daily breads: Gospel, Eucharist, and the bread of man.
Now I figure that if I can exercise my talent for cooking, and maintain a proper focus in such violent places, then if there are others with other talents, like carpentry, journeyman, plumbing, and other skills, we could make a run at this.
I'm aware of all the technicalities, and guidelines to follow. I would expect to follow them properly. Other particulars include consecration to the Immaculate Conception, and Daily Holy Hour before the Blessed Eucharist, as well as devotion to other saints like, St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Augustine, St. Phillip, St. Thomas (the twin).
An just a man who has made of myself am oblation to Saint Joseph, there are now three of us. Myself, another from Texas, and one from Mexico.
You can respond to this post or contact me through email through the site if you wish.
I wouldn't want to begin a religious order if I didn't see its good use. I just haven't found an order that possesses the same charism, vocation, and tac for serving the need that I find which I just can't turn away from. So I am compelled. However, I will be visiting the Fransalians soon. They are a pretty flexible group, who already have an outfit in Africa who is tending the orphans there.
So I am continuing my discernment. God provides. And if you were wondering, I do have a spiritual director.
Look forward to hearing whatever good news you may have!
Grace and Peace,