The poor possess a joy that is pure and highly contagious, for it doesn’t come from material comfort and prosperity but from the very gift of being alive each day.” -Fr. Richard Ho Lung
This summer, a group of York Catholic teachers, students and friends spent ten days volunteering in Kingston, Jamaica with Fr. Ho Lung’s Missionaries of the Poor (MOP).
The group spent its time, energy and skills serving as Lay Volunteers in five care centres. They worked with orphans, people with disabilities, people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, and those who had been abandoned by their families. In addition to daily service with some of the most forgotten and poverty-stricken, the group shared in the daily life of the Brothers and Sisters which included daily mass and many hours of prayer.
Undergoing the simplicity of the MOP life provided many spiritual benefits and life changing experiences.
“Watching the humbleness of the brothers and sisters, their compassion, the simplicity of their hearts and life, serving with serene joy, allowed us to witness the true mystery of love,” said Gina Creta, one of the volunteers. “Looking at the residences with love allowed the beauty of the human soul to reveal itself to us. There is no greater gift than this, to witness and live in the presence of the Holy Gospel.”
The Missionaries of the Poor is an international monastic order of brothers dedicated to "Joyful Service with Christ on the Cross" to serve the poorest of the poor. The order was started in 1981 by Father Richard Ho Lung and has now grown to over 500 brothers around the world.