2014 Lenten Welcome Letter

Welcome to the Black and Indian Mission Office website!

Thank you for visiting with us. We have recently begun to refurbish the website and hope to make it more user-friendly, inviting and helpful. We are simply in phase one and intend to bring greater information to your fingertips and greater use of technology through interactive programs and downloadable activities for adults, children and youth. Click HERE to submit your feedback on our new website and like us on Facebook.

As we enter the Lenten season, I recall my boyhood and all the wonderful times at my home parish of Holy Guardian Angels in New Orleans during Lent. At this very moment, I smell the incense burning and filling the entire Church with a sense of the presence of Almighty God during benediction which always followed the Stations of the Cross. I see in my mind’s eye the dapple of purple throughout the Church, covering the stations and large crucifix in the sanctuary. And I recall with fondness of my pastor presiding with conviction and tenderness heeding all to follow Christ through loving Christian service of our neighbors. St. Francis de Sales tells us, “We can never love our neighbors too much. There is nothing small in the service of God.”

Yes, the church encourages us to pray, fast and give alms. We pray not only with our lips, but with an awareness of the heart to reach out and touch the entire world as Christ did.

We fast not only by denying ourselves some treat, but by filling up the emptiness within ourselves with God’s Word and encouraging our own families and communities to do the same. We give alms not only with the loose change in our purses or checkbooks, but with a real concern for social justice, all persons and freedom of religion.

May I encourage you to stay awhile to learn about our neighbors in the family of Christ? Please explore the stories, persons and events within these cyber pages while sipping on a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage. It is important that I hear from you, so our ministry may grow and we might be of greater Christian service to all.

What are your interests? Do you want to learn more about our mission schools and religious education programs in the Black Catholic, American Indian or Alaska Native communities? Maybe you want to meet more of our missionaries and those engaged in mission activities? Maybe you want to directly hear from African-Americans, Native Americans and Alaska Natives to hear about their hopes, dreams and desires? Maybe you want more stories of faith? Maybe you want to better understand the role of advocacy? And maybe you would be interested in an opportunity for readers to easily share their opinions?

Certainly the success of our missionary outreach and the communications of this website depend on you because you are the bridge that makes the connection between people come alive!

Bless you,

Father Paysse
Execute Director