I suspect we human beings can chart our lives through the major events and transitions of them. Things like the birth of a child, walking a daughter down the aisle, the transition to a new job and place. For me I trace my life through my various priestly assignments. Ask me about a year and I’ll tell you where I was! 1985? Waynesboro, Georgia. 2008? Idabel, Oklahoma.
Having lived 3/4 of a century I have been blessed with many years—and many assignments as a Glenmary Home Missioner. It began as a volunteer, moved into years of study and formation, followed by multiple pastoral ministries and supportive ones such as vocations, formation, and administration. Here in 2023 I am helping out in our development office where we strive to let the world know about the important ministry we do and generate support for it.
As with life in general, there is an interconnectedness that makes it work. Now, I like milk on my cereal, but I have a problem. I don’t have a cow. But thanks be to God there are dairy farmers out there! A small mission parish may have a wonderful spirit but with few members, just paying the bills can be beyond their reach—especially in the early stages of development. Fortunately, that parish is “connected” so that through our office’s efforts, and your generosity, assistance can be rendered as the parish grows toward self-sufficiency. So, there is a vital link between our supporters who donate to mission ministry and the actual mission endeavor.
When first considering a religious vocation, my “ah-ha” moment came when I learned there were mission areas in the United States. That struck me—a moment of grace that attracted me to Glenmary. It was my “calling.” But through the years of experience I have learned and seen the essential need for that connectedness. We pray for our donors daily—which is very easy because we are just so darned grateful!
Thank you for what you do for us. The simple truth is this: we couldn’t do it without you. God bless.
Father Chet Artysiewicz
PS – As you contribute funding and donate religious items to missions you are supporting important activities like these:
- Missionary Pastoral Minister Lorenzo Ajú and his wife, Nicolasa, have begun to establish a new mission area in Overton County, TN.
- Br. Craig Digmann evangelizes in Washington County, NC, an area where Catholics are few. He is often the first Catholic to visit and pray with members of other Christian churches. His presence helps build relationships and break down many of the misconceptions of the Catholic faith.
- In Early County GA, Br. Jason helps families avoid eviction, keep the lights on, have shelter for the night, or bury a loved one.
- At Holy Trinity Mission in NC, parishioners build community through Mass and the sacraments, communal prayer, and fellowship.
- In Georgia, Fr. Francois ministers to youth in incarceration facilities, the only minister bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to these young people.
Glenmary’s tax ID number is 31-0537070.