The LAST edition of our Good News newsletter is at the printer and also available now [r20.rs6.net] online (along with other current items of interest) at www.seattlearchdiocese.org/Missions [r20.rs6.net]. As has been done since 1983, contents include prayers, announcements, news, items (we hope are) of interest, and inspiring and fun artwork and photos. We hope you enjoy this final edition as the Missions Office closes June 30th, therefore ending this newsletter. To quote our very own newsletter (page 2), “We are so grateful to you, our friends and colleagues who are, and will continue to be, ‘good news’ to those who are ‘Jesus in disguise’ in our world.”
From Kelly Hickman and J.L. Drouhard, as the Missions Office
Our predecessor in this office, Barbara Geraci, one of the very first laywomen directors of a mission office in the U.S., wrote this farewell. She started this newsletter in 1983, and we are ending it with her words which echo our thoughts. Barb, those directors and staff with her, before her and after, have served this office so well. We have been privileged, with all of you, to be part of this community of servants in the Archdiocese of Seattle Missions Office, begun in 1908
This will be my last “GOOD NEWS from the Missions” column since I will be leaving my work in the Missions Office June 30, 1995. It has been a journey of about 15 years and one that has taken me around the world and allowed me to see our mission Church in her glory. The first year I started to work in the Missions Office, a visiting missionary said to me, “Barbara, once you go to the missions you are messed up for life.” I did not understand what he meant until I made my first trip in 1983 to Haiti.
I thought I knew and understood what the needs were, and what our mission Church was about, but visiting Haiti and walking, talking, smelling: feeling deep pain and anger with such horrendous suffering, did indeed “mess me up” for life. During further travels, I have seen our mission Church in all its glory. Absolutely stunning men and women, religious and institutional Church people, all walking and serving those in need. I have seen charity, love and awesome generosity among people who barely feed themselves of a day. Where one would expect anger, there was joy. Where you would expect to see brokenheartedness, there was hope and singing and dancing.
There has also been great pain, a dissonance of soul, for want of understanding why I have so much, and why my country and my American Catholic Church have so much, when there is so much human need in the world. There is often a sob deep within my being for a need to find peace and understanding in a sea of wealth while my sisters worldwide hunger to feed their children each day. I cannot fathom what it must be like to watch my children’s, or grandchildren’s limbs blown off by landmines, or slaughtered, by warring factions or hacked to death with machetes. Somewhere in all of this I hear Jesus calling us to the poor. I have been nourished, over the years, by the generosity of many of you. You are out there, faithful and faithfilled, supporting your children and children in the missions, missionary sending religious orders; your families and Church in your mother countries while also sharing your wealth and prayers with the mission Church worldwide.The staff of the Missions Office is often deeply moved by your presence, your never-ending answer to the call from Jesus to “go forth” and your loving, touching notes you share with us. I am off to be silent now, and to listen to God, that I might hear what He wants me to do “when I grow up.” As you go about the “stuff of life” each day, please keep in your prayers our mission Church and the poor who call us through Jesus. May He be forever at your side.
In Case You Missed It …
Update from Your Missions Office [campaign.r20.constantcontact.com] – communication from us sent via email on April 15, 2019.
Beyond Your Missions Office [campaign.r20.constantcontact.com] – communication from us via email to our Rice Bowl Coordinators and Social Ministry Contacts sent on June 6, 2019.