Missionary Life: Memories & Service

What a rich journey! When I look back, I discover that the Lord has blessed me. He sent me as a missionary to Congo Brazzaville, then to Tunisia and Algeria, to Rome, to Paris, and back to Rome again! Everywhere, I met very kind people whom I loved, who loved me, whom I helped and who helped me. Meetings, faces, shared experiences. Prayers, songs, celebrations. Creations, initiatives, gatherings. Worries, concerns, sufferings. Life and mission are made of all of these.

In Congo Brazza, I encountered another culture, different languages, different values. The hospitality, the system of ethnic groups, tribes, the importance of family… At first, I had the joy of teaching at a vocational school, then it was the trial of nationalization and going to rural areas. There it was a completely different story: visiting families, lepers, parish work.

In Tunisia and Algeria, it was the discovery of a different, strong and prevailing religion. A faith that marks one’s entire life, way of behaving and relating. Once again, schools were nationalized… we had to accept that the government took over our place…

In Rome, the first time, I got to know the Franciscan family more closely, the different Franciscan Orders, the Third Order Regular and the Secular Franciscan Fraternity. With another sister, we organized the Franciscan family at the United Nations and raised awareness about the values of justice, peace and the safeguarding of creation.

In Paris, I was in a managerial mission, “management” as they call it nowadays. A 10-storey building with a student residence, a self-service cafeteria, hosting groups for training, meetings, assemblies. With two other sisters, we managed schedules, reception, solved requests and problems.Currently, I am in a Church service, at the Dicastery for Consecrated Life. What for? As I often say: I try to make fathers, sisters, and brothers happier by allowing them what they desire and can bring them peace. New constitutions as the Church demands, selling a house because the members are diminishing, a lack of community to take care of sick or elderly parents, exclaustration to study vocation, leaving the congregation because the response to the call has changed! We receive requests and respond to them… as best as we can. The service has about forty people, priests, religious sisters, laypeople, under the direction of a cardinal and a bishop.

Each moment lived is a gift from the Lord;  let’s avoid wasting it!
Each encounter is an opportunity to grow; let’s not stay behind!
Each smile is a corner of paradise; let’s not miss the appointment!

And above all, each missionary service is a response to the Gospel and to Christ!

Jacqueline Millet, fmm