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Missionary Life

One does not necessarily have to travel to the ends of the earth to evangelize and spread the Gospel.  An example of this was an encounter I had in December with a family at our Franciscan corner in Over-the-Rhine.

One day I received a call from a woman asking if I would be available to give a tour of our Christmas displays to her, her husband and son.  I am always ready to give tours. 

We started out at St. Francis Seraph Friary where 50 or so nativity scenes from around the world were displayed.  We then walked across the street to the Christian Moerlein Brewery Event Center to see our Dickens Village, the Santa Claus Collection and numerous decorated trees.  At the end of the tour I joined them for a cold beer at the Moerlein tap room.  As we were enjoying our beverage, the son shared with me that he was looking for a new job.  I assured him of my prayers.   At the most I spent a little over an hour with them.

About two weeks into the New Year, the same woman called me again.  She could not thank me enough for spending time with them.  She told me that I could never know how much our encounter meant to them.  There was, however, another reason for her call.  Her son, 32 years old, was found dead in bed from a heart attack a couple of days before. I see many people over the holidays so it is easy to forget who I saw and what we talked about.  However, I did remember this young man as well as the promise I made to him. I was praying that he find a new Job.

Since their son’s funeral, the mother and father have been coming to Sunday Mass here at St. Francis Seraph. 

While I may never know what it was about our brief encounter that meant so much to these people, the point is, God uses us to be heralds of the good news in ways that we can’t even imagine or expect.  All we need to do is to be open to our loving, good and merciful God so that we can be used.   
  
--Br. Tim Sucher, OFM
Director, Franciscan Missionary Union 

--Br. Tim Sucher, OFM
Director, Franciscan Mission Office