Friday, September 9, 2011
New Assignment for Fr. Herald Brock, CFR
Many of you know that we concluded our missionary presence in South Sudan shortly after the referendum on independence in January of this year. For the past six months I have been residing at St. Crispin Friary in the Bronx and helping at the St. Anthony Shelter for Renewal. A few weeks ago I received final word on a new assignment that begins this month, that of being a missionary preaching friar. I will continue to be based at St. Crispin’s , but will be able to travel regularly to mission sites in developing countries, especially where our friars have an existing relationship of collaboration with local friends. This includes visits to places where I have served previously in Honduras and Africa, which makes me very happy. The purpose of these journeys is to encourage the local church through efforts of evangelization and formation, and when possible to offer assistance to those in need. I will also do some limited preaching in the United States, especially for mission-related purposes.
This new assignment is supported by Franciscan Mission Outreach, a non-profit organization that helps to sponsor missionary endeavors of the Friars of the Renewal. Donations made to Franciscan Mission Outreach will assist in providing for the international missionary efforts I will undertake, as well as for the life and ministries of the CFRs. I will be sharing experiences from this new assignment on this blog.
My first missionary journey of this new assignment will be to head back to Africa in mid-September for a seven-week trip to four countries on the eastern side of the continent. I will have Maynor Ballesteros and Dr. William Stallings of Missioners of Christ as missionary companions. In Kenya planned activities include a visit to the Somali refugee camp in Dadaab, a week of faith formation for older students at Our Lady of Grace School in Kisumu, and combining with the Missionaries of Charity for youth evangelization in Nairobi. It will be a great joy and a privilege to visit the new Republic of South Sudan, catch up with lay missionary Dennis Kiyimba and reconnect with the missionary youth and other friends in the Diocese of Torit, especially now as Bishop Akio Johnson Mutek has returned from successful medical treatment abroad. The team will be making a brief stop in Uganda to spend a few days at Emmaus Center for Catholic Evangelization and Discipleship and see Dennis' wife Agnes, due with their first child in November. From there I will meet up with Fr. Donald Haggerty of New York, working in priestly formation in Addis Ababa, to explore future possibilities for outreach in Ethiopia.
In November I will travel to Honduras to assist Missioners of Christ in preparing a group of older Honduran youth to embark on a week of evangelization, and then accompany the youth into the mountains where they will be sharing their faith and inviting the villagers to participate more fully in the life of their local parish. I will also have the chance to see good friends like the young men and staff at Jesus of Nazareth Farm. Being in Central America will also afford the opportunity to make a short trip to neighboring Guatemala to see some friends and missionary contacts in Guatemala City, Jalapa and Esquipulas. Future plans include journeys to Haiti (in January) other African and Latin American countries and perhaps Asia. As my schedule permits, I will be doing limited mission-related preaching in the US.
When not on the road, and for a total of at least 12 weeks a year, I will be at St. Crispin Friary in the Bronx, participating in the life there as a member of the local fraternity, and helping out as I’m able at the St. Anthony Shelter for Renewal and in the friary’s other activities. I plan to do a little local preaching as well, and do some spiritual formation with the YOUTH 2OOO New York team, joining them for retreats in the metropolitan area when our schedules coincide.