Greetings my brothers and sisters,

Hope that you are all well. As we move into the Fall months, we are reminded that all things change and must if they are to be renewed and grow. May that be true of our Christian faith and lives, particularly in our vocation discernment which must be always open to new possibilities and thoughts.

Every October our Church celebrates World Mission Sunday, when we are once again asked to join in supporting the Church’s mission to bring the message of Jesus Christ to all parts of the world. We in the United States have a unique position to help since our country has one of the world’s strongest economies and we have an abundance of resources. Each of us individually is called to contribute financially as we feel called. Here is how Pope Francis puts it in his Letter regarding this annual celebration in 2020:

The celebration of World Mission Day is also an occasion for reaffirming how prayer, reflection and the material help of your offerings are so many opportunities to participate actively in the mission of Jesus in his Church. The charity expressed in the collections that take place during the liturgical celebrations of the third Sunday of October is aimed at supporting the missionary work carried out in my name by the Pontifical Mission Societies, in order to meet the spiritual and material needs of peoples and Churches throughout the world, for the salvation of all.

In recent years, our life and faith as Christians was challenged by the world pandemic and social upheaval around the world and here in our country. Pope Francis recognized this in his message and also recognized that such things can lead us to be fearful and to close in on ourselves. He writes this in response to such fears: …”the call to mission, the invitation to step out of ourselves for love of God and neighbor presents itself as an opportunity for sharing, service and intercessory prayer. The mission that God entrusts to each one of us leads us from fear and introspection to a renewed realization that we find ourselves precisely when we give ourselves to others”.

As those who are in vocation discernment, we being called to be who God has created us to be and this necessarily implies service and especially to those most in need. Let us make sure we do that at every opportunity and to see it as an opportunity to carry out the mission that God has entrusted to us, “to step out of ourselves for love of God and neighbor”. St. Joseph Marello was known for his great acts of charity to those most in need. Our Congregation found its first home in an orphanage and our Mother House in Asti housed the elderly, the chronically and mentally ill, and orphans as well as the OSJ and some religious sisters to care for them. All were considered of the same Family and Joseph Marello was the father who gave of himself and his resources at all times. May we be inspired by this example of love and service to do the same, which can only aid us as we continued to discern God’s call in our lives.

Fr. Brian, OSJ