Friday, August 7, 2015

Mission, Music and Dance

"What have you done to make the Lord dance today?"
Fr. Steve dancing in Kenya

This was the invitation from Carol McBrady, a lay missioner in Zambia, Africa during her presentation at St. John Paul II Catholic Mission a couple of weeks ago.   Carol is a life long friend.  We have known each other since first grade, went to High School and even two years of college together. 14 years ago she started to help during the summer the street children in Lusaka, Zambia.  Then about ten years ago she sold her house, quite her "big" job and moved to Zambia to work full time with the street children.  Now Action for Children -- Zambia is going very strong. 
Fr. Steve, Carol and Carol's traveling companion

I was happy she agreed to come to our small U.S. mission and share her story and her mission.  Her principles are very much in keeping with the Glenmary Mission principles.  Connect people to faith, give them a home, and let them do for themselves with a gentle guiding hand.  She is the only Non-Zambian employed by her organization which has God dancing over 250 times.  (One dance for each child reached last year.)
Esteban Salazar Duque

Fr. Antonio with the ladies at St. John Paul II
Fr. Steve and Antonio stepping to New York, New York
Carol's invitation to dance was followed the next weekend with a classical tenor from Colombia, Esteban Salazar Duque.  Esteban sings to support missionary activity in a small town in Colombia.  His invitation to our mission was by Fr. Antonio Girarldo, our new associate pastor.  Fr. Antonio has been organizing trips to help the poor children of Colombia for ten years.  Esteban made this trip to the U.S. to raise money for this mission.  It was such an honor to bring a classical tenor who sang, Ave Maria in Latin, I did it my way in Spanish and New York, New York in English.  For our people to have the opportunity to be inspired by his concert in Maynardville and Rutledge, TN was just wonderful.  To be exposed to the needs of Colombia again advanced our understanding of mission.

Finally, last weekend, The Valley Boys, a local gospel group sang at St. John Paul II Catholic Mission.  This group consists of three young men who just graduated from High School.  A few weeks earlier they traveled with Br. Craig to the Glenmary Headquarters in Cincinnati, OH as well as four churches in Iowa.  There presence at our small Catholic Mission brought visitors from several Baptist churches, the Methodist Church and others to join us for the Mass.  For many visitors it was their first time to worship at the Catholic Church.  The reason they came was to be inspired by this Gospel Choir from a local Baptist church in Union County.  Through their music, Christians from different denominations came together to pray.  God danced!!
The Valley Boys

All three occasions advanced the mission of God.  Through music we learned about God's children in Africa, South America and North America. All of this was an occasion for God to dance.

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