Late February 2017, Brother Jose de Jesus Martinez traveled over 2,400 miles from Guamal, Colombia to Chicago, Illinois, where he has spent months at our post-Novitiate. His experience so far has been chock-full of “firsts” — first time visiting the United States, first time learning a new language, as well as a new culture. Recently he shared news of his experiences.
The first order of business for Brother José de Jesús was registering for English classes. “In fact, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, I am taking intensive English courses Monday through Friday,” he explains. “It was scary at first, but little by little I have become more comfortable conversing with parishioners and others in English. I know that this is good training for me because I will always have to be adaptable as a Missionary Servant priest.”
When not studying English, Brother spends time out on the mission. On Friday nights, he and the other seminarians lead a prayer group for catechists at St. Pius V parish located in the heart of Chicago. He feels it is a great service because lay leaders are sometimes personally underserved spiritually since they are the ones tending the needs of others.
Brother José de Jesús was more than excited as he spoke about his this project. “Our latest project is forming a group of Latino families from around Chicago,” he explains. “It is a group based on our charism to develop a missionary spirit in the laity. Once a month we meet at St. James Parish to share life and faith through the reflection of the Word, prayer and a good meal. On other weekends we visit these families in their homes.”
“Honestly, I have found joy in everything I do. Humbly and with dedication, I perform each task knowing I make a difference. I have found friendship, support, and generosity in the many people I meet and will never forget them! They have a lasting place in my heart and in my prayers.” As you can see, Brother José de Jesús is grateful to the formation process for helping him forge a strong missionary spirit and helping him recognize the gifts that God has given him. Brother looks forward to the road ahead of him.
This combination of formal education and mission experience shows its value in the kind of ministry we are able to provide the people we serve.