Recently, seven young adults from Philadelphia arrived in Mexico City. They came from the South Philly parish of St. Thomas Aquinas. From the moment these missionaries arrived, I noticed that they came with the desire to encounter our culture, to share their faith, and with a real desire to share their gifts. They brought only what was necessary: a small suitcase and a big smile. We drove from the airport to the small town of Huitzila in the state of Hidalgo, where we would spend the next five days at the novitiate of our priest and brothers, the STs.
The first day of our experience was a Sunday, and very early we drove to the church of Santa Maria where we planned to share our time, talent and treasure with the people that Our Lord had prepared for us. We went to Mass there and the priest presented us to the community as missionaries who had come to share their experience of God. After Mass, while we were greeting the people, two families approached us to invite us to their homes. We split into two groups in order to visit the families. The sharing with them revealed the hospitality of the people, of this town as well as the openness of the missionaries to meet God in this place.
Over the following days we did many works according to the gifts of the missionaries and the needs that were presented. We visited families to share the work of God, we visited the sick, we played with children, we walked the street greeting people, we met people of extraordinary virtue and generosity who were anxious to grow nearer to God and to share with us. Some missionaries had the opportunities to do some physical labor. The sharing of these young adults from St. Thomas Aquinas Parish reminded me of Article Six from our Rule of Life:
“We are to have an ardent zeal for the poor, and for those desolate in all things spiritual and for victims of injustice.
Charity urges us to take action on behalf of justice as an integral part of announcing the coming of the kingdom.”
Although our new friends aren’t members of the Missionary Cenacle Family to which we Sisters and our ST priests and brothers belong, we share the same Spirit. We were united in love, which manifested itself in every moment through their words and actions as they encountered the people. In every moment, they focused on whatever activities they were doing here and there without distraction, without turning away, without asking themselves if they ought to be doing something else.
I pray to the Triune God for each one of these Missionaries, that they will have a life filled with love, peace and service. For the people who so generously shared with us, I pray that God will give them great blessings in their faith.
Blog writer, Sr. Maria Zepeda, MSBT currently serves in Mexico.