"Mega-missions" Marking 10th Anniversary
65,000 Setting Out to Re-evangelize During Holy Week
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ROME, MARCH 31, 2004 (Zenit.org).- During Holy Week tens of thousands of volunteers and priests will descend on communities in the Americas and Europe as part of a "mega-mission" that is marking its 10th anniversary.
Some 65,000 members of Missionary Youth and Missionary Family will take the Gospel message to 10,000 communities in Mexico, the United States, El Salvador, Cuba, Brazil, Ireland and Italy, among other countries.
Both institutions arose within the Regnum Christi movement, founded by Father Marcial Maciel. Over the years, the mega-missions have involved some 200,000 young people and 20,000 families from more than 30 countries.
These missions bring together teams of young people, families and priests for an intensive, cross-disciplinary and organizational effort in re-evangelization.
The missionaries make house-to-house calls in remote locations, catechizing children, visiting the sick and elderly, and encouraging people to receive the sacraments. Their endeavors are under the direction of local parish priests.
The missionaries also invite people to attend activities of Catholic formation, organized in the afternoons by the missionaries themselves, and Holy Week services. The Legionaries of Christ, the priests who accompany the missionaries, work throughout the day administering baptisms, regularizing marriages, hearing confessions and celebrating Masses.
At the end of the week, the missionaries return to their base-city to attend Easter Sunday Mass.
Medical missions have emerged along with the evangelizing missions. Doctors from various countries offer free medical care to people, many of whom have never seen a physician. In Mexico alone, three mobile hospitals, telemedicine units and outpatient surgeries are being installed.