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Children and the Missions

Dear Missionary Sisters,

We  earned some money for the missions
by selling lemonade at our Grandma’s garage sale.
Also Vinny and Tommy fixed up a bike and
sold it to give the money to the  poor.

Love:   Vinny, Tommy, Jacinta, Teresa,
John Paul, Marguerite, Gianna Pagnotta.

Learning to Follow Christ

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

By Katherine Stephenson, Age 13

When someone says, “Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini,” I think, “She’s a missionary!”  Francesca Cabrini was born on a small farm in Italy, the youngest of thirteen children.  When she reached her eighteenth year, she decided she wanted to become a missionary Sister in China.

Three times she asked but each time they sent her away with the message that she was not healthy enough.  So Francesca began working at an orphanage.  There she began the order of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.  She took the name of the great missionary Francis Xavier. She went and asked the pope if she could go East to help the Chinese.  The Holy Father replied by saying, “No, not to the East, to the West.”

So Mother Francis Cabrini went to New York.  When she got there, she saw that many children did not have parents and roamed the streets.  She decided to start an orphanage.  The archbishop of New York was afraid to let her do it because she had only five-thousand dollars.

But she new that God would provide.  She was right! Whenever she needed money, she and her sisters would pray and they would find the money in a drawer, or maybe even a sister’s pocket! All in all, Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini is an extremely interesting missionary.

I do missionary work by volunteering at a life care center and a nursing home.  I encourage you to pray and sacrifice for the success of the Church’s missionary efforts.

Jean be Brebouf

By Alea Florin, Age 13

Samuel de Camplain requested three Jesuit priests to accompany him on his expedition to Quebec in 1625. One of these priests was Father Jean be Brebouf. While in Quebec, Father Brebouf and one other named Father de Noue paddled to Lake Huron in a canoe. In 1629 the English captured Quebec and Father Brebouf was commanded to abandon Canada.

Father Brebouf patiently waited for the chance to return to Canada and preach to the Indians. Finally in 1633, Father Brebouf and one other Jesuit named Father Daniel ventured back to Quebec. It took the duo thirty days of traveling through deserted wilderness to find the land of the Huron Indians along Land Huron.

The priests suffered from the threats of the aggressive Indian. They had to leave the Hurons and eventually they found the Iroquois, the enemies of the French. Fathers Brebouf and Daniel spent sixteen years with these belligerent Indians and suffered grave tortures.

Father Damien

By Evan Florin, age 11

The inspiring true missionary story of Father Damien is a story about his holiness throughout his life. Evan Joseph de Veuster (Father Damien as a kid) would sleep on the floor instead of his nice, warm, and comfortable bed as a sacrifice.

When he was older, Father Damien went to the islands of Hawaii in place of his brother and ended up at Molokai. He went to Milokai even though he thought he would die of leprosy.

The first thing Father did when he got to Malokai was build a church so that the people could have a stronger relationship with God. Father Damien also visited the sick, Catholic or not. He built houses for the people. Father can be a good example to us all by thinking about others instead of always thinking or ourselves.

St. Francis Xavier

by Claire H. Age:  11

St. Francis was born in Spain 1506. He attended the college of St. Barbara and became a teacher. He joined a group called Society of Jesus.

He was sent as a missionary in India. With his preaching and kindness he soon converted the whole town. Then, St. Francis went to Japan in 1549. He converted thousands.

While sailing to China, he become very ill with high fever. He died in a cabin on Dec. 2, 1552. St. Francis Xavier is the patron saint of foreign missions.

He helps us not be afraid to follow God’s will.

St. Therese of Liseux

by Elise H. Age: 9

St. Therese was not a missionary, but constantly prayed and sacrifices for the missions. When Therese was very young, she did all kinds of little deeds for everyone.

She prepared for her first holy communion by making many little sacrifices. She became a very special friend of Jesus.

Therese entered the Carmelite convent when she was 15. She wanted to save souls and help priests save souls by prayer, sacrifice and suffering. Her “little way” means love and trust in God.

St. Therese is called the “little flower of Jesus” because of her love for Jesus and cared for him like a child. When she was dying, Therese pressed her crucifix to her heart and said, “I love him! My God, I love You!” She was only 24-years-old when she died.

St. Therese’s life is a great example of what we can do to help by prayer, sacrifice and doing kind little deeds.

St. John Neumann

By Megan Roddy, age 9,
with the help of my Mom

John Neumann was a great Saint and Missionary.  I have been studying about him in religion class at my Catholic school.  Thanks to his humility and leadership, Catholic schools all over the United States were created, but that was just one of the wonderful things he accomplished. Let me tell you a little bit about his life.

St. John Neumann was born on March 28, 1811 in Bohemia, which is now part of Czechoslovakia.  John came from a good Catholic family.  He was smart, liked to read, and had a gift for learning languages.

Once he began his studies in the seminary, he decided to become a missionary priest in the United States.

He started his work at a priest in New York caring for many new immigrants.  St. John carried out his work by walking from village to village; baptizing people, hearing confessions, teaching the catechism and saying Mass.  He worked so hard that after several years he became seriously ill and it took him a few months to recover.

In 1840 he became a Redemptorist priest and continued his missionary work in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  In 1852 he was consecrated bishop of Philadelphia and worked hard to build parishes and schools.  He wrote a catechism to help teach the faith and started the Forty Hours Devotion in his diocese.  Most of all, he loved caring for people, especially the poor and lowly.  He truly loved God enough to make sacrifices for others.

St. John Neumann traveled across a continent to become a missionary.  But anyone can become a missionary in their own region, town, neighborhood or even their own family.  Kids don’t have to be shy about their faith.  You just have to set a good example and be willing to share about the love of Christ in your life.  I pray to God to help me be a good missionary everyday.  Reading about the lives of the great saints, like St. John Neumann, helps me to keep trying!