Monday, September 10, 2012

More Missioners

WELCOME Fr.Aaron and Godfrey
Two more Glenmary missioners have joined our team here in Grainger and Union county.  Fr. Aaron Wessman just was ordained in May.  He will serve as our associate pastor overseeing in particular the youth ministry, religious formation and assisting with the music ministry.  Godfrey Musabe is a Glenmary novice who was raised in Uganda and has been with Glenmary for two years.  He will be with us for five months.

After each of our Masses a welcome social was given.  Both men seemed to enjoy themselves and their was plenty of good food for them.

One of four great meals
It may seem strange that two rural counties with less than 1% Catholic now have four full time Glenmary missioners and a student.  And it is!!  This is very unusual, but it is a huge blessing.  Our geographical territory is large with Clinch Mountain in the middle.  Each Catholic community has two Masses one in English and one is Spanish.  The level of poverty and social needs remain high.  So more missioners are very much welcomed.

Fr. Aaron
This really is a huge blessing is possible because we belong to a Universal Church.  In Union County there is only one other full time minister that I am aware of in the whole county.  In Grainger, I only  know of three.  Most ministers are bi vocational (that is they work during the week and preach on weekends). These congregations, often averaging about 40 people can not afford a full time preacher.  The expense it takes to support five missioners is a result of being part of the Roman Catholic Church.  It is made possible by the generosity of Glenmary Donors around the United States, a number of parishes and individuals that have adopted our missions and missioners, the generosity of the diocese of Knoxville and the contributions of people of these two communities and beyond.  It is one of the great things about being Catholic.

Yet, with this blessing, come huge responsibilities. We hope to spread the Good News of Jesus to every hill, holler and valley.  We aim to bring healing and hope to those who are distant from Christ. Together in partnership with other churches, agencies and civic groups we hope to help establish the Reign of God more clearly in these two counties.  So the more missioners, the more we can accomplish for the sake of Jesus and His Kingdom.

Confirmation Retreat at JP II
Just in these short two weeks that our new missioners have been here, outside of the two Weekend of Masses, we had a Labor Day Wedding, the celebration of our Patroness Blessed Teresa of Calcutta on her feast day , and the Confirmation Retreat.  We meet with the ministers of Rutledge and attended the dedication of the new church building for Revival Vision Church of God in Maynardville. 

La Boda--The happy couple and the Glenmary Missioners
I am so excited about how these new men will add to the Glory of God and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful to ever donor who has sent money or prayer on our behalf.  I am grateful to our parishioners who have embraced them and are reaching out to others. I am grateful to those who have supported us in any way. Most of all,  I am grateful to God for allowing me to part of this experience.  God is doing so much, it just amazes me. 

The joy it brings me is beyond telling and only leads me deeper to prayer.  Thank You God!!  Thank You Glenmary!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!.

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