Mission From A Distance

Covid-19 has changed our lives. We are slowly learning how to adapt, becoming more accustomed to wearing a mask when venturing outside, measuring six feet between us, not reaching out for a handshake or even a hug. I find myself clasping my hands as a reminder. These daily reactions are becoming habits. How will these new habits affect us in the long-term? What will the new normal look like? 

It is just beginning to hit me how my world of mission is changing. There is no shortage of tasks to do in the missions office: Staying in touch with our mission partners. Updating you, our missioners, on the happenings with our friends around the globe. Reviewing and approving budget requests to do virtual missions. Asking and looking for supplies. – We sent one pallet to the Philippines and are currently filling a 40-foot container for Bolivia. – For the last eight months these and other mission tasks have kept me busy. They have distracted me from the one thing I cannot do, Go on mission. I so want to see the people and walk with them. These pilgrimages in mission have been the rhythm of my life for 25 years. Now, there is a small voice in the back of my head asking, “Will I ever go again?”. It is a sad day.

I am not sure why one small task today, wiring funds to the Philippines, started this lament. Perhaps it is because normally at this time we would be ramping up for the Philippines mission. And we would be preparing for the information meeting for Bolivia, as well as refining the press release for the Navajo mission. There would be notes to send to the Philippines medical team reminding them to get their documents sent in so we can get their Philippine licenses. We would be working on travel arrangements for the University mission to Bacolod in the Philippines. Of course, we cannot forget the annual tasks of making menu choices for the Faith Promise Dinner and looking forward to the mail each day to see the names of all our brothers and sisters in mission who have RSVP’d. All these mission tasks of joy are not happening this year. Yes, it is a sad day. 

Yet please do not misunderstand me. Our missions are moving forward, albeit virtually and from a distance. We may not be able to walk hand in hand with the people, but we can work together to find new ways to be with and help the poorest of the poor.

How can you join in this mission from a distance?

Pray. We can be in spiritual fellowship with our mission partners and the poor whom we serve. As we pray for them and they for us, we can imagine ourselves, hand in hand, standing together in the Throne Room of God. What a beautiful sight! 

Go. What stories and pictures of mission do you have to share with the world? Telling your story could inspire someone to begin this journey of mission, a journey which has been transformational for all those who have embarked upon it. Be intentional. As you walk the halls of your hospital or workplace, ask the Holy Spirit, “Who of my co-workers do you wish me to invite on mission today?” We will return someday. And when we do, let it be with a seven-fold increase in missioners, long time veterans and first-timers together. And if you’ve never gone with us on mission before, seek God’s will about joining us and encourage others to consider the same.

Give. We are currently looking for and receiving supplies to ship to Sucre, Bolivia and Borongan, Philippines. Do you have access to supplies, medicines, or surgical equipment for our medical partners? Our medical wareroom has space for your procurement. Even though we are not going to our mission sites any time soon, your financial support enables our mission projects to continue even while we are not there. And while we cannot gather for our annual Dinner this year, you can still make a Faith Promise. Please consider a sacrificial gift, a gift that requires a measure of faith to fulfill. We do understand that these are difficult times for many and maybe even for you.  Simply give as you are able. And if you are not able, know that your words of encouragement strengthen us in the work and help it to prosper. Know, too, that any gift, large or small, is a sign of faith in the God who calls us to be missionary disciples and is an act of solidarity with God’s special children, the poorest of the poor. I thank you for your prayerful consideration of this request and for your faith filled generosity.

Keep safe and stay well.

God bless you,

Bruce Carlson, Missions Administrator


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Covid-19 and Missions

Sadly our travels are on hold due to the pandemic. If you are interested in joining us when we resume these missions, simply email us at missions@dioceseofjoliet.org. We’ll keep you updated and hope to have you as a member of our team when we return to the field!

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