The Paulist Lay Missionaries have been meeting for several years. It was early last year during a zoom meeting that an invitation was extended to our group.
Our expectation was to encounter the Paulist Missionary Charism at a deeper level.
We were received with great joy and hospitality, something that our Church and our modern world needs today.
This experience has left an indelible mark over our hearts and lives empowering us to take with us the spirit of a man with a vision and a mission to enrich the Church and the world we live in. A man with a deep relationship with Christ and our Missionary Patron, Paul. This lead him to reach out expressing compassion and empathy towards needy children and those who were struggling in society. Joseph De Piro was fully present to those he encountered and was an active listener.
The experience has been very inspiring, informative and enriching. Meeting our wider Paulist family has been both affirming and giving strength to our identity. We believe our charism and the spirit we have captured has made a positive impact, motivating us to share this experience with our wider Paulist Lay community back home. This can assist in creating clearer understanding of who we are, embracing our vision and mission as we direct others to Christ.
These last two weeks have helped us to see the importance of faith in action as we immersed ourselves in the life of Joseph De Piro. Meeting members of his family and visiting the places where he lived, made him more tangible and real.
Joseph is indeed a man who responded authentically to his call. He is an example of faithful commitment and apostolic zeal who during his Gethsemane experience in Davos, embraced prayer as his only intimate companion. Like St Paul, Joseph teaches us the importance of these moments as moments of opportunity; when things are upside down and chaotic become the moment of conversion.
This pilgrimage has helped us understand that we truly belong to a wider spiritual Paulist Missionary Family, following the Charism given through Joseph De Piro. The joy, love and hospitality that has united us through our wider family has allowed us to experience that we belong to a much wider faith community. It has truly been a touch of heaven on earth.
Joseph’s love of Mary allows us to see the importance of the feminine side within the congregation and expresses the wholeness of life within Mary’s Assumption into Heaven.
Our plan is to return home carrying this rich charism. We plan to provide a faith development weekend where we can gather with the wider community and share with them different aspects, on a smaller version, some of the wealth we have received in these days.