by Fr. Mark Miller, C.PP.S.
As we continue to pursue that “new creation” of our Community, not only must we focus on how we re-imagine our present members and Companions, but also on how we go about the ministry of inviting new people, members and Companions, into our Community to carry on the apostolate of the Word, and of hospitality, reconciliation, and inclusivity that continue to bear fruit in our midst. If we as a Community have made corporate stances regarding the death penalty, immigration reform, gun violence, and sanctuary for the undocumented, we ought to be looking at those who are presently involved in these social justice issues. Have we demonstrated to the public that we are serious about these social issues? Have we made our voices heard with clarity that we, as Missionaries of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, have committed ourselves to bring about the end of the death penalty, involved ourselves in bringing a change in our immigration system, spoken plainly about the guns and violence in our country? Are we consistently clear that there is no one who beyond human rights and dignity?
I believe that our focus must be broader than simply assisting the Church in supplying sacramental ministry; we must “widen our tents” and “cast our nets” into those organizations that are committed to bring about social change and emphasize human dignity for all. Do those who work in these various organizations know that there is a Community of men and women who are dedicated to the same work as they? Are they perhaps looking for a spiritual community with which to make their voices heard? And for those who may have some difficulty with our institutional Church’s stance on some issues, tell them that we have Brothers in our Community which gives them a freedom which those of us who are ordained do not always have. We ought to be making our presence known in all of these social justice issues and invite our members and companions to join these organizations and let them know that our Precious Blood Community is supporting them and invite others to join us in the mission of creating a more just and equitable society.
All of us have a platform from which this can happen. We have our parishes, our classrooms, our places of work, our families, our local and civic organizations, our retreatants, our RCIA communities; all of these offers us a platform, an altar if you wish, from which we can proclaim the message of the Word and invite people to join us and bring their gifts and talents to bear on these issues that are affecting our world.
I offer the suggestions above to everyone but especially to our leadership teams as they continue to call into focus how we might enter this “new creation” of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood within the United States of America.