The brothers and sisters in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas welcomed the Emmanuel School of Mission-NYC for a seven-day mission from March 3-9. The group consisted of ten ESM students, three team members (Charles Rochas, Paul Glennon, and Isabel Fawcett), and one ESM-Rome alumna from Isabel’s year, Franziska from Germany. They braved the Minnesota winter that wasn’t loosing its grip on the state as they participated in a variety of activities, from leading school retreats to giving testimonies at open houses to helping set up and sing for Esteban’s funeral. We look forward to seeing how their presence here will bless the local community and the people they encountered over time.
The mission activities varied every day and brought the missionaries into contact with the personal apostolates in which the local brothers and sisters are involved. For example, the ESM put on two weekday retreats at the high school where Kevin is the chaplain and one retreat at the high school where Katie Ranniger is the religion teacher and sacramental preparation coordinator. They visited another high school where one of our members, Katy Jantscher, works, to participate in their World Language Week. The students talked about their home countries and what they do in the ESM, and then gave their testimonies, sometimes in their native language if the students were studying that language. The group sat through rush hour traffic to come to Delano, where my family lives, to attend four open houses and animate a mercy night. A few days later they went to one open house organized through Tom and Katy Jantscher’s parish, where the priests also concelebrated the Friday night Lenten Mass and socialized at the soup supper. The students gave compassion by visiting the Karenni refugees that David Neira works with at his parish. They visited Sam Patet’s family for a meal. They helped decorate the hall for Esteban’s funeral luncheon and contributed their voices and flute skills for the songs we sang at his funeral. Lastly, the students evangelized at Andrew’s parish, leading the mercy adoration and speaking with people to came to the church on Ash Wednesday, as well as staying at the homes of his parishioners and witnessing in that way. Isn’t it amazing that they did all of this in one week?!
One thing that was unique and impressive about this mission was that the missionaries were able to plug into the personal apostolates of many of the local brothers and sisters, instead of focusing most or all of their efforts at one parish or school. This will hopefully bear many fruits all around the Twin Cities region. Why? First, the missionaries were laborers of God’s harvest for these apostolates, allowing the local brother or sister to organize something that required more people than just themselves. Second, the presence of the ESM at an apostolate exposes the others in contact with it to the Emmanuel Community in a fuller or richer way than we can when we are operating on our own or only with our spouse. God-willing, the encounter with the ESM in our local areas will generate some interest to “come and see” what the community is all about, possibly growing our local community.
That’s it for the mission recap. Finally, can you help the MN community pay for this mission? Whenever the ESM visits a location for a long mission, there is a significant bill to cover the cost of the ESM’s travel and services, which I assume also supplements the students’ tuition in running the school. We’re not gifted in the charism of fundraising out here so we still have a ways to go in meeting the bill. If you can donate anything, even $20 (although $100+ would be better), please send a check to Emmanuel School of Mission – with “Minnesota mission” in the memo line to the following address: Emmanuel School of Mission, 371 East 150th St, Bronx, NY 10455. You can also make donation via Paypal using the firstname.lastname@example.org email address, or at ESM website https://www.esm-nyc.com/give.