THE MARIANNHILL VOCATION
The Mariannhill Fathers, the publishers of the magazine, Leaves, are a missionary congregation. We are “foreign missionaries,” i.e. we have the task of cooperating in the announcement of the gospel especially to those peoples who do not yet believe in Christ. We are ready to work in countries where the majority of people are not Christian.
Some will say: “Why should anyone go to a foreign country to preach the Gospel? Isn’t there enough work to do in the USA? God only knows that we need priests and religious brothers right here at home.” It is true that there is need for priests and religious in our own country, but that must not stop our Church from continuing to carry the Faith to those who have not yet received it. This is a command given to her by the Lord himself. Before he ascended into heaven, he told the Apostles, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation” (Mk 16:15).
If we seek what this “good news” is, we learn that it is the news about the coming of the kingdom of God among us. Jesus himself began his ministry by preaching the same thing; “This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand” (Mk 1:15)! As we listen to Jesus’ message, we realize that the Kingdom of God is at hand in Jesus himself. “But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is upon you” (Lk 11:20).
When Jesus gave the Apostles the command to go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation, he was ordering them to carry himself to the whole world. He therefore sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and founded His Church so that what He had preached and what He was doing for our salvation might reach its universal goal, i.e. the salvation of all mankind. “Rising from the dead he sent his life-giving Spirit upon his disciples and through him set up his Body which is the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, No. 48). The Church is the visible sign and the bringer of Jesus Christ, the salvation of the world, to all mankind. All Catholics, then, have the obligation to make sure that sign reaches everyone.
We Mariannhill Missionaries, as part of the Church, have the same obligation as everyone else. But, as a missionary congregation, the obligation falls upon us even more. We are, as it were, the specialists in the Church for this kind of activity. We bring the Faith to non-Christians in the name of the whole Church.
Do you feel called to help us in that work? You can do so as a layperson by joining our Pfanner Lay Mission Companions. Or you can join us and become a missionary priest or brother. God bless.