This past weekend we were visited by a priest representing the United States Catholic Mission Association based out of Washington, DC, that promotes the worldwide missionary endeavors of major Religious Orders as well as the Church in the United States. His name is Father Gregory Gallagher, and he is a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. His visit is one of the traditions of our Diocesan Church that has a representative of a group representing their missionary efforts assigned to visit a parish each year, speaking of their work and soliciting our prayers and financial support. We call it the Mission Co-operative Program.
Father Greg came and helped us celebrate the twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time with great priestly enthusiasm and joy. He spoke at all of the Masses, breaking open the Word of God and encouraging us in our missionary roles. He graciously celebrated the two Masses on Sunday (I had another one later that day for our Youth Ministry). I enjoyed his visit, his company, and his conversations at our meals. It was a short visit - from Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon - but a good visit. He spoke of the friendliness and openness of the good people of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish - no surprise there!
We are often content to live in our own little world and keep our focus there. But the Lord invites us, as he did his friends and followers, to go out to all the world and proclaim the Good News! May we never forget that mission that makes us missionaries. I thank Father Greg for helping us to remember that fact, and I pray for him and his ministry.