During the month of March, the Young Adults Group will partake of what we are calling an “Almsgiving Project”. All month long, the group will be raising money for the St. Francis Xavier Lay Missionary Society (XLMS), one of my favorite non-profit charities. (It also helps that I am on the Executive Board.)
The St Francis Xavier Lay Missionary Society is a group of lay Catholics called to mission in greater Asia. They have a presence in Hong Kong, India, and other places on the continent with long term goals to Japan. Since their founding in 2013, XLMS has helped form the faith of young adults in this part of the world, casting the radiance of Christ’s love to whom they have encountered. By giving talks on Christian Catholic spirituality, giving the Called and Gifted Workshop, Bible studies, visiting orphanages, and offering one-on-one counseling, they are examples of virtue and honor in this part of the world.
President and Founder Tricia Bǿlle has spoken about her work with XLMS to the Young Adults on two occasions. She herself has served as a solo Catholic lay missionary for over seven years.
One of my favorite stories about Tricia’s work regards a member of her team. This team member was taught that God was a draconian deity aimed and striking her dead the moment she did something wrong. However, after attending a few of Tricia’s talks, her heart transformed. Currently part of the ministry, she is now discerning to enter a monastery.
While Stateside, Tricia speaks around the country about the new evangelization and furthering the Church’s teaching that all the baptized are called to mission. On December 3rd, Mark Shae interviewed Tricia on his radio show, “Catholic and Enjoying It!”. You may remember that she spoke at all of the Masses on December 6th and 7th, and had a table at Coffee Minute. She is also recruiting for the Society, inviting young adults to partake in the mission of XLMS.
On March 4th, we introduced the Giving Tree at our Young Adults meeting. I myself led the charge by giving a few hundred dollars. The young adult community were encouraged to donate then and there, or to take a leaf from the Giving Tree and give a gift via check, cash, or Paypal.
The Giving Tree will be available every Wednesday throughout the month at the YAG meetings. Moreover, on March 15th, March 22nd and March 29th, the Giving Tree will be available at the 5:30 Sunday Mass, near the ambo side of the main church, open for the entire 5:30 Mass congregation to participate in our project. (In early April, Tricia will offer a short presentation about her latest work overseas to the YAG, in which the leaders will formally gift the Group’s total alm to the Society.)
Moreover, anyone can give a one-time or monthly gift to the Society. You don’t have to be a young adult, or even a Catholic, to give to this organization. I myself give a portion of my monthly allowance to the Society via Paypal.
XLMS is not subsidized by any Church entity. Though endorsed by the Provincial of the Western Dominican Province, the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, and several Bay Area Bishops, none of these entities grant XLMS a portion of their budgets. XLMS runs purely by donations. In fact, one member of the Society has been living off of food stamps for years, because her vocation of being a foreign missionary precludes conventional employment.
Lent is the season where we go back to basics as faithful Christians by intense prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Though there are many organizations to whom you can give, I ask that you consider this:
Do you remember the first time you entered St Dominic’s? Remember the spirit of life and energy you felt? Remember that?
Remember that moment when you knew, you just knew, that St Dominic’s was home?
Now think…you can help someone on the other side of the world have this very same feeling.
Here is what certain financial gifts can help provide:
|Dollar Amount||Will Provide|
|$15,000||1 missionary for 1 year to Asia|
|$2,500||1 year of food for 2 missionaries in Asia|
|$1,200||approximate roundtrip airfare to most Asian destinations|
|$750||1 month of apartment rental in Hong Kong for 1 month|
|$250||50 Bibles/ Catastrophic Health Insurance for 1 year|
|$150||Visa to Asia|
|$100||bicycle / 10 Bibles|
|$75||1 day of housing for novice missionaries while in the formation program|
|$60||1 week of meals for novice missionaries while in the formation program|
|$50||books for the formation program/public transportation for 1 month/ 5 hours of administration assistant help|
|$40||dinner for 15 young adults for fellowship dinner after Sunday Mass/ 15 bilingual Mother Teresa Books|
Okay then. Going back into the dark. Blessed Lent, gentle readers!
Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!