Marco Tavares and his wife, Daisy, were experiencing a marital crisis that was destroying their family. “We were about to get divorced. I had a suicide attempt,” says Marco, remembering that dark period.
The Tavares had migrated to the United States from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in the year 2000. They had come in search of a better life and now all seemed lost; but God had a second chance for them.
Daisy began attending a Catholic church in Hobbs, New Mexico, where the couple lived with their three children. Then her husband followed her lead. “We began to integrate into the parish. A conversion began, a healing process,” recalls Marco.
Now, Marco and Daisy dedicate their lives to preaching the Word of God all over the United States through retreats, face-to-face and video meetings, as well as other ways that they have developed during these years of pastoral service.
Glenmary began a working relationship with the Tavares in February 2020. Despite the pandemic, “they did several of what we call ‘Catholic missions,’ which are four or five days providing education, catechism, reflections, music, prayers, food…” says Father Aaron Wessman, Glenmary’s First Vice President.
The family worked “supremely well,” Father Wessman adds.
But how did the Tavares go from an acute family crisis to becoming Catholic missionaries? Marco relates that back in 2010, when they joined their parish, they began a process of healing and conversion. Soon after, they began receiving invitations to share their testimony with different groups. Their priest told them that God probably wanted them to serve Him by helping other couples convert with their talks.
“It was a two-year process of discernment, until God gave us all the signs that this was his will,” says Marco. One of those signs was an ultimatum he received from his boss at the restaurant where he worked. He told him to choose: either his work, or the church.
Marco chose the church. “It was a transition from having a secure salary to living on providence,” he highlights. They did not receive a salary, but only the offerings that were given to them in each mission.
Now, Marco, Daisy and two of their children live in the Glenmary mission in Windsor, Tennessee. From there, they travel from mission to mission in a recreational vehicle (RV). The RV has a sign behind it that says “Familia Misionera Tavares,” with the face of Jesus. Wherever their missions take them, they go hand in hand with him.
This story was originally published in Spanish, in the Summer 2021 issue of the El Reto Glenmary magazine.