I wonder sometimes: when the young priest Joseph DePiro founded the small missionary congregation which then became the Missionary Society of St Paul, did he imagine what it would look like today? If you ask me, I’m pretty sure his imagination could not have stretched that far ahead. At the turn of the 20th century, Joseph DePiro founded the first community in Malta based on his understanding of Church, religious life, mission, culture, and society of the time. Given all these parameters I am not surprised that a man of his time would not have foreseen how the seed he helped to sow would evolve and grow.
Born in Malta, in 1910, the Missionary Society of St. Paul was the dream of a visionary man, the Servant of God Mgr Joseph De Piro. His dream, to evangelize to the world, drawing inspiration from the missionary zeal of St. Paul, today is embodied in the members of the Society in various countries of the world, and the many young and lay people who embrace this vision with enthusiasm and zeal.
Whilst during the life of the Founder, the Society had branched to Abyssinia, the years that followed traced paths in different countries of the world, served by members of the MSSP: USA, Australia, Canada, Italy, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, and Malta. Whether through service to migrants, or through social, youth and missionary work “ad gentes” the common theme of the Society has been always simple: to share with others the gift of faith.
The following experiences are just a small collection of the preciousness we, as humans, carry in our hearts. The occasion was the MSSP General Chapter, that lasted a whole month in June 2018. Beneath the formalities and structures that we human beings create to bring some order, exists a spirit which is beautiful because it reflects the Creator. We just wanted to share these rays of light with anyone who crosses paths with us at the MSSP and who dares to look for goodness in humanity.
Such smiles. Nothing beats them. They’re priceless!
I was soon reminded that mercy and forgiveness can go a longer way than justice and punishment. This is how God deals with us and we are very fortunate for that.
One day someone told me: “Give to others the wonders God did in your life, then, seeing you, they would see the wonders of God, and not you.”
I remember, I was amazed how many opportunities there are in our simple, ordinary days, where we can live justice.
I thought to myself, ‘Why wait to go to Heaven to dance with God? He’s inviting us all to dance with Him, who is forever beyond, beside and within, from now!’
You must always begin your work from the given situation as is, and not from your pre-conceived ideas.
Looking back, I have learnt from these people, to become gentler, kinder, and hopefully more compassionate.
I have been reflecting on how, through people we least expect, our Father reaches out to us.
Life is a gift, let it be a joyful journey, no matter what!
They taught me that true happiness does not come from the things we have, but rather from the healthy relationships we have with God and with our fellow humans.
For me, it was one of a strong experience that consolidated my missionary vocation.
I was deeply surprised by joy. God, in a split second, looked at me and smiled. That sweetness, that experience, touched my soul.
All we could say was “this is a miracle”, especially given that the doctor was not an adherent believer.
However, the next morning we learned that this prisoner had escaped! Was this special Mass he asked for a simple ploy to help him escape? I do not know, but certainly, the ways of the Lord are infinite!
Evangelization does not necessarily entail beautiful sermons. A good deed can, by far, achieve more.
May you be blessed in your stuttering!
Life comes through when I stay in tension. That is from where good music wells forth.
At the heart of the communion, what we share with each other is a deep sense and a growing realisation of God in our soul’s centre.
It is not what you do, but how you do it!
It’s amazing to find someone on the other side of the planet who looks like me, but why am I making such a fuss? Even God looks like me!
God truly has His own ways of sending angels in our lives.
We fly high at times, and our spirits soar. Yet always, always, we have to stay alert to what’s on the ground!