Sign up for email alerts from The Monitor | Diocese of Trenton
The Monitor | Diocese of Trenton, NJ  
Advanced Search


home : news : news May 24, 2016


10/28/2011
Go Light Your World
At Mission Reach-Out, students learn to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ
Symbols of the World – Grammar school and parish religious education students who attended the Mission Reach-Out enjoyed hearing the various missionary stories and viewing colorful artifact displays from countries around the world. Jason Rivera photos

Symbols of the World – Grammar school and parish religious education students who attended the Mission Reach-Out enjoyed hearing the various missionary stories and viewing colorful artifact displays from countries around the world. Jason Rivera photos

Evangelizing Moment – Sister Ellen Anderson, a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary, was among the seven missionaries invited to host a presentation at the annual Mission Reach-Out held for grammar school and parish religious education students Oct. 27 in St. Aloysius School, Jackson. Sister Ellen spoke on her work as a missionary serving in Zambia.

Evangelizing Moment – Sister Ellen Anderson, a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary, was among the seven missionaries invited to host a presentation at the annual Mission Reach-Out held for grammar school and parish religious education students Oct. 27 in St. Aloysius School, Jackson. Sister Ellen spoke on her work as a missionary serving in Zambia.

Awards recognize outstanding effort
The following schools and parish religious education programs were recognized for their outstanding support to the Society of the Propagation of the Faith and the Holy Childhood Association:

Grammar School Awards
First Place – St. Veronica School,
Second Place – Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing
Third Place – St. Jerome, West Long Branch
Honorable Mention – St. Paul, Princeton

Religious Education Programs
First Place – St. Jerome, West Long Branch
Second Place – St. Elizabeth, Avon
Third Place – Divine Mercy, Trenton
Honorable Mention – Our Lady Queen of Peace, Hainesport

“Greatest Improvement Award” for contributions to the missions:
Religious Education – St. Catherine, Farmingdale

Grammar School – St. Rose, Belmar

The Mission Office also presented the annual Mission Moderator Awards to Debra Condrat of St. Ann School, Lawrenceville, and Dr. Linda Dix, director of religious education in Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Moorestown, for their many years of promoting mission awareness sin their respective communities.


Mary Stadnyk
News Editor

The message of what it means to live the baptismal call and bring the light of Christ to others was the focus for the grammar school-aged students who gathered for the annual Mission Reach-Out held Oct. 27 in St. Aloysius School, Jackson.

This year’s Mission Reach-Out, which had as its theme, “Go Light Your World,” featured workshops with missionaries hailing from all corners of the world, Mass and the presentation of awards to schools and religious education programs in recognition for their outstanding support to the Society of the Propagation of the Faith and the Holy Childhood Association.

Click HERE for a gallery of photos.

“As we gather together we are reminded that we are the light sent into the world to dispel the darkness of fear and doubt,” said Elizabeth O’Connor, principal of St. Aloysius School, in her welcoming remarks to the 170 Catholic school and parish religious education students from throughout the diocese. “We are called to heal, we are called to be hope, we are called to feed the hungry and quench the thirst of those who yearn to see the face and feel the presence of our Lord.”

Explaining the goal of the Mission Reach-Out, Msgr. Richard Tofani, who celebrates his 25th anniversary as director of the diocesan Office of Missions this year, said they are intended to help students grow in their awareness of how to be “better missionaries, better ambassadors of Jesus Christ” in their own schools parishes and local communities.

“You are here today because you have shown an exceptional capacity in wanting to understanding your life and even a greater capacity in wanting to share it,” said Msgr. Tofani. “You are missionaries for Christ and I am proud and honored to be a missionary with you.”

Msgr. Tofani continued that the Mission Reach-Outs are also an occasion for the students to commemorate the “most important day of your life – the day of your Baptism.”

“On that day, two special things happened. First, you were welcomed into the Body of Christ – the Church. Second you became missionaries – ambassadors of Jesus Christ.”

The panel of speakers who were invited by the diocesan Missions Office to host workshops at the Mission Reach-Out were Sister Margaret Anne Meyer, a member of the Medical Missionaries of Mary, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria; Sister Ellen Anderson, a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary, Zambia; Sister Rosemary Hayes, a member of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Ghana, Nigeria and the Dominican Republic and Lesotho; Father Charles Galiath and Father John Hurley, both members of the Oblates of St. Francis De Sales, South Africa; Father Thomas Vellappallil, a member of the LaSalette Missionaries, India Philippines and Haiti; Father Kevin J. Hanlon, a Maryknoll priest, Japan, and Maryknoll Brother John Blazo, Guatemala.

Student participants noted how they appreciated the way the Mission Reach-Out opened the windows on the world and how the presentations helped them realize the religious convictions of many of the seven missionaries who devoted their lives to serving people in other parts of the world.

Allyson Rugarber and Cassie Giglio, both eighth graders in Holy Family School, Lakewood, commented on how intrigued they were to hear Father Hanlon talk about Japanese culture, history as well as the ways in which Catholic missionaries serve in Japan.

Robyn Abrams, a sixth grader from Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing, was enlightened to hear Father Vallappallil talk about his own vocation as a LaSalette priest and his years of service in his native India, his 11 years in the Philippines, and how religious community  began serving in Haiti two years ago.

Abrams’ classmate, Ashley Daniels was particularly heartened to hear Father Hurley and Father Galiath’s presentation on South Africa and was interested to learn how the country had gained its independency as a nation just 21 years ago.

The Mission Reach-Out students and their mission moderators also reflected on how they help to support the missions various projects  within their various school and parish communities.

Ginny Fama, director of religious education in Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Hainesport, and Debbie Thomas, second grade catechist in the parish, said that in addition to having Msgr. Tofani, who is pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, address the religious education classes about the missions and showing mission-related videos, the students also participate in the Mite Box collection to benefit the Holy Childhood Association during Lent and Advent.

“Kids are fascinated to learn how even a small amount like 12 cents can help people in other countries,” said Thomas. “Hearing something like that really hits home. They understand that they, too, can have an impact on the lives of others.”

   



Related Stories:
• 'Proclaim the Gospel to All Nations'
• World Mission Sunday Mass embraces call to love
• 'Love Your Neighbor As Yourself'




Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE

From the Bishop
Pope Francis







The Monitor, 701 Lawrenceville Road, P.O. Box 5147, Trenton, NJ 08638-0147 | PHONE: 609-406-7404 | FAX: 609-406-7423 | Monitor@DioceseofTrenton.org

Copyright © 2011 | TrentonMonitor.com | All Rights Reserved.
Any use of materials on this website, including reproduction, modification or distribution without the prior written consent of the Diocese of Trenton is strictly prohibited.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved