This weekend is Mission co-op Sunday. Throughout the Diocese, missionaries will be preaching in every parish and raising funds for their home missions. It is a weekend I look forward to every year, because it helps me to connect with the wider Church to which we all belong. Our custom here is to take the missionary out to dinner on Saturday night. At that time, I listen carefully to the story of his or her community or diocese. It is always humbling to compare our challenges to those of a community in a poorer country.
I also find it humbling to realize that we, ourselves, are becoming mission territory. In many of our American dioceses, we could not survive without the help of foreign born priests. In our vicariate alone, (Norwalk, Wilton, Westport, New Canaan, and Weston) we have six Indian priests who are working fulltime, including our own Fr. Rojin. To a man, they are hardworking, helpful, faithful, with an ability to collaborate with others for the good of the Church.
Speaking of Fr. Rojin, he came to us on July 21st last year, so he is about to have his first year anniversary at St. Jerome. He brings with him prayerfulness, energy, intellect, and joy. Starting this fall, he will also be enrolled in doctoral studies in administration at PACE University. His home diocese has great plans for him when he returns home to India upon completion of his doctorate. Hopefully, he will get to spend all of these years at St. Jerome where he will also be full time. His presence has certainly lightened my burden and because of his presence, I will get away this summer for four weeks. Praise God, and thank you Fr. Rojin!