Brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you His peace!
I remember meeting a priest from an order of Franciscan friars that works with the poor in New York City. I was on retreat with a group of friends, and he was our retreat master. The light in his eyes was something I had never seen before. As he gave the talks, I learned that it came from love of God, his love of prayer, his love for the poor he spent his life serving, and from intense personal suffering. All love, somehow. I remember thinking, looking at this guy with a shaved head and big beard, rough habit with a rope for a belt, “if I met St. Francis walking down the street today… this is what he would be like.”
Then, a few moments later, another thought came. “If I met JESUS walking down the street today, this is what He would be like.”
This was something of a watershed moment in my spiritual life in college. I come from a family that loves their faith. I am the oldest of 8 siblings. We prayed the rosary every night together growing up. But it wasn’t until I began to spend time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, every day, on my own, that I began to love God, freely, from my own heart. And it was through this Franciscan priest, and others like him, that I heard the call from God to love our poorest neighbors. For truly I know that whatsoever we do to the least of these, we do for Christ.
Serving the poor and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament continued to be core themes of my life, when, after college, I spent 5 years in seminary, discerning a call to the priesthood. When God called me out, it was certainly a surprise. But I am convinced that, if we attach ourselves to Christ in the Eucharist, and if we are willing to make sacrifices to serve our neighbor – because love is made perfect by sacrifice – we will have the peace that only God, not the world, can give.
That is what led me to the Source of All Hope mission this year, because Christ in the Eucharist and Christ in the poor… that is the heart of our life. And you can be a part of it, too.
Pursuing my calling as a missionary is only possible through the spiritual and financial support of mission partners. Your investment in this mission enables our community to go out and share life with our friends on the street day after day, where we address their biggest source of suffering—isolation—in a way that nobody else can. All the missionaries in our community are nourished and equipped through daily opportunities for spiritual, intellectual, and human formation; moreover, we will spend time in prayer before Christ in the Eucharist, growing closer in intimacy with the Lord and interceding for the needs of this suffering city. Your support makes all the difference, and I want to invite you to invest in both me and my community. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know the best way to reach you and I will happily schedule a time to meet! You can email me at email@example.com.