A Real Mission Adventure: Experience the Work of Comboni Missionaries From Your Home
by Kathleen M. Carroll
The Church marks each October as mission month, a time to acknowledge that all Christians, by virtue of their baptism, are missionaries. We are called to bring the Good News of the Gospel to the farthest corners of the world. But how can we celebrate that missionary calling this year, when so many of us struggle to visit even the far corners of our own neighborhoods?
From 7 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 10, the Comboni Missionaries will embark on a new way of doing missions. For more than 10 years, the Taste of Mission has been a tradition at their Anderson Township campus. With food and entertainment from around the world, the event shares some of the culture of the 41 countries served by the 150-year- old missionary order. Circumstances dictate that this year will be different: The Taste of Mission is going virtual.
Friends and supporters are invited to join via Zoom conference to learn more about the work of the missionaries; experience some traditional music and dance; participate in fun, interactive polls; and share in a new kind of 21st Century evangelism.
“This has definitely been a different kind of year,” said Heather Kaufman, director of development for the Comboni Missionaries. “And we’re responding with a different kind of event.”
This year, though, the Taste of Mission isn’t a one-night event. The celebration continues with Mission Mondays, an email resource designed to help families celebrate missions all month long. Each week’s message will contain recipes, craft activities for children, prayers and profiles of missionaries or mission projects.
Moving a large event online is a big undertaking. Organizers describe it as “an adventure.” But “adventure has always been a big component of mission,” said Comboni Father Joe Bragotti. In his career in the mission fields, he said, “I have taken great pleasure in initiating projects that ‘would never work,’ resurrecting publications that were ‘meant to die,’ and going to places where ‘you won’t be able to go.’ How do we cope with these new challenges? Just as we always do. We listen. We learn. We adapt.”
The work of the Comboni Missionaries in Cincinnati supports their missions around the world: building schools, seminaries, and vocational institutes; establishing hospitals and training medical staff; housing and educating orphans; funding clinics and feeding stations; establishing safe water supplies and advocating for the poorest and most marginalized people in the world.
“We’re going to do our best to give our attendees a taste of life in the missions through music, pictures, video, and more — all from the comfort of home,” said Kaufman
To attend the Taste of Mission or sign up for Mission Monday emails, visit ComboniMissionaries.org/TOM.
This article appeared in the October edition of The Catholic Telegraph. For your complimentary subscription, click here.