From the Lublin Community, Poland
The Extraordinary Missionary Month of October is marked by different events and activities in Poland.
If there is a place where so much enthusiasm is shown for this missionary dimension of the Church, it is here in Poland. Parish priests and Catechists of schools make it their duty to give their people an extraordinary Missionary experience, especially during Mission week, which begins on World Mission Sunday. It is mostly the busiest month for Missionary congregations. And the MSOLA are not left out.
Our community here in Lublin this year, received invitations to 3 different parishes, 6 primary schools and 2 technical schools.
We, Lucy and Victoria found this a great opportunity to do Missionary and Vocation Animation and we seized all the opportunities. Mostly we were both able to honor these invitations together, though few times one of us had to remain in community as this was also very necessary.
Indeed, our feet were on the move to several places and directions both far and near during this month of October. This reminds us of the theme for this year’s World Mission Sunday, “Hearts on Fire, feet on the move”, chosen by the Holy Father Pope Francis, a theme inspired by the experience of the 2 disciples on the way to Emmaus from Luke’s Gospel (cf. 24:13-35).
We too had encountered the risen Lord on our way to Lisbon during the World Youth Day this year (you can read the article on our experiences of WYD on our website), during our annual retreats and the fruits received from our General Chapter. The risen Lord renewed us and inflamed our hearts and so we were eager to move out to share this contagious joy and love with others.
In the parishes we visited, we usually share about our congregation, our missionary experiences in different countries and our faith.
We also animate the rosary by reciting it in different languages or projecting different images of our missionary experiences according to the different mysteries while the people recite the rosary. It is usually well appreciated.
In the primary schools we help the children through probing questions to understand that, they too are missionaries by virtue of their baptism. And they can live it through concrete actions wherever they are; at home, at school, wherever. Children are also very curious to know something about Africa and especially how other children live in Africa. With the children we try to make it as interesting and as joyful as possible.
Below is a witness from Trzeszczana Parish, visited from the 16th to the 19th of October:
“Due to Mission Week, we hosted Sr.Victoria from the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa – the White Sisters. We had an extraordinary trip to Africa and praying the rosary for the Mission and missionaries reminded us that we are all one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
Sr. Victoria happily visited the Cyprian Kamil Norwid Primary School in Trzeszczany and the Mołodiatycze Primary School. There was a lot of joy among the children from this unusual lesson and the culmination of all the events was, of course, the Mission Appeal, prepared as every year by the School Mission Club together with the guardian – Mrs. Barbara Gryn.
We would like to thank Sr. Victoria for the beautiful testimony of her life.”
The following is an email of gratitude from the Catechist of M. Kopernika School Complex in Belzyce where we went for animation on 26th October.
“Many thanks to you sisters for coming to our school and for the beautiful testimonies. Your visit to our school was a big event and thanks are pouring in from the principal, parents, teachers and young people for your testimony. May the good Lord help you in your missionary work in our homeland, which is increasingly beginning to be a missionary country.”
Sr. Mariola, one of the religion teachers of Stefania Sempołowska School complex in Puławy, and herself a Benedictine Missionary, was so excited to share with us that one of the girls, after listening to our Missionary experiences and testimonies of faith, had come to ask her if she could register for religion classes since this subject is optional (Some students or sometimes parents decide for their children not to attend religion classes).
This experience convinced us that people deeply long to hear deep faith experiences with the risen Lord (something not available in the internet). Let’s not be afraid to share our faith if given the opportunity. Yes indeed, our feet left footprints of joy, hope and renewed faith because our hearts were on fire.
We gave our best; the risen Lord will do the rest.