Every year the novices from the St. Isaac Jogues Novitiate House have their annual Lenten Mission, usually at parish of the Institute. This year the popular mission was held in Wauchula, Florida at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, an IVE parish and extended from February 25th to March 5th. Fr. Javier Ibarra, the novices, and novices of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará (SSVM) spend their time in Wauchula spreading the Good News and bringing people back to the faith especially during this Lenten season in which we seek God’s mercy and forgiveness.
The popular mission, also known as a holy mission, is an essential element of the life of a religious of the Incarnate Word. For most of the novices this was their first mission, a great experience to deepen their understanding and their spiritually in the missionary aspect of the Church, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt. 28:19). They had the opportunity to help evangelize the local residents and assist the parishioners of St. Michael’s parish in a vast array of services. They helped with retreats for First Communions and Confirmations, ran oratories throughout the week for over 300 children and visited parishioner’s homes.
Throughout the week the novices visited homes to help parishioners and their families receive any lacking sacrament. Many parishioners also took the chance to have their homes blessed by the missionaries. In the evenings there were talks for adults and various activities for the children which they all enjoyed very much. With the help of the many volunteers of St. Michael’s, the daunting task of coordinating all of the activities and events with children (sometimes as much as 300-400 a night) ran smoothly. The parish volunteers helped make this mission possible. Thank you to everyone who attended, help or assisted in any and all missionary activities.
Please continue to pray for the fruits of the missions!