Glenmary Aspirant Reflects on Being Called to Mission

Posted: 9/9/2011

Jerry Wilkerson, Glenmary aspirantBy Jerry Wilkerson

Growing up in a large parish, I had never really considered mission work as something that interested me personally. So the question you might ask is, "What makes this kind of work so important to you now?"

The change in my thinking is due to the experiences I have had with Glenmary. Home missions ministry appeals to my desire to live in community, to help establish a Catholic presence in areas where it did not exist, and to be of service to others in any way that I can. Those are the types of experiences I am talking about, and I love any opportunity to engage in them.

A Glenmary mission is truly an exciting environment, especially when you are on a summer mission placement. This summer I was assigned to Holy Trinity mission in Swainsboro, Ga. There I got to experience the kinds of work to which I felt called. I worked with youth, did communion calls, and helped the community in various other ways—from visiting those in prison to helping with immigration issues.

Like I said, for me, it was all in the experiences. It is not just about enjoying the work, which I do; it is about being there when others need you. It is a special feeling to know that when people have nowhere else to turn they can come to you and rely on you to help them. That forges a lasting bond.

It is an experience like no other to be able to contribute to a community and make an impact in the best ways possible on the lives of others. In the end, it is all in the experiences. So I guess the question you should ask yourself is, "Do any of these experiences interest me?"