As we all prepare to set our books aside for the summer months (to some degree, at least), I’d like to give you and your children something else to think about. One of the chief aims of the CLAA has been to help Catholic families engage in the missionary work of the Church at home and around the world. While my family participates in this work in our own ways, there are as many ways for families to engage in missions as there are Catholic families. It’s one thing to talk ABOUT missionaries and their work, but there’s no reason your family cannot be directly involved in that work yourselves, and do missionary work of your own.
CLAA Missions provides CLAA families with opportunities to do this work. We do the work ourselves and, in addition to our own missionary friends, we develop relationships with religious orders and organizations engaged in missionary work among the poor around the world. They keep us informed of needs and invite us to come and help when they need extra manpower. We work to supply their needs–and the more families we have on our side ready to help, the more readily we can say, “Yes!”
So, whether you’d like to find a simple way for your family to help an existing Catholic mission from home, join us in a local mission project, or travel with us to work in missions overseas, we can find an opportunity for your family to do so.
In general, missionary work is spiritually edifying, personally challenging, a source of many graces and eternally rewarding. It is also an unmatched way to raise your children to understand the Catholic life and see its greatest examples in action–not in books or on TV, but in person–to eat with them, work with them, talk with them and, most of all, to have them praying for you. I can’t imagine how much less happy my family would be without the opportunities we’ve had to get out of the American fish tank and see “the real world” through Catholic missions. It gives us balance and sets limits on the comforts we seek, helps us to be humble, thankful and merciful, unites us in living sacrificially, and inspires us to “labor to support the weak” as St. Paul taught (Acts 20:35). I’d love to see your family join the other CLAA families involved and, as a friend and teacher, I can’t recommend it enough for your family’s sanctification and joy.
I know that many will immediately begin mass-producing excuses, complaints, reasons, etc.. why they CAN’T., but that’s silly. Even if you really couldn’t now, you could start preparing now to do so in the future. Besides, if Our Lord didn’t hesitate to call St. Peter from his business, with a wife and family to provide for, he won’t turn you away because you’re a dad with a job and children. It was St. Peter’s tax money that Jesus provided from the mouth of a fish, you know. Sure, you’re no teenage virgin, free to fly into the world without any burdens–but neither was St. Peter, nor am I. Come and see…and tell your friends–like St. Andrew the Apostle told his–they can come too. ;)
For more information, visit the CLAA Missions site or simply contact us.