152 | VISION 2017 | VocationNetwork.org
HEN I WAS 12, an actual missionary came to speak to
years in Bolivia, a place I knew about solely because of our 3-D map-
our class at St. Matthias School in Chicago. We had heard
about missionaries, of course, but here in the flesh stood
Father Raymond Cowell, a Chicago guy like us. He seemed old to me
then, even though he was only in his 30s. He had spent the past 10
making assignment on South America.
Father Cowell told us stories about the people of Bolivia and what he
had learned from them. He gave us his address, and he and I corresponded a few times. What a kick it was, in those days before email, to get a letter from a real live missionary in a red, white, and blue airmail envelope.
Catholics can never delegate the job of spreading
the Good News. The joy of the gospel is meant to be
Pope Francis wants YOU
to be a missionary
BY CATHERINE O’CONNELL-CAHILL
TO BE T TER SERVE the
homeless, Jose Lopez
(left) immersed himself
in their world during a
Vincentian Volunteer year
in San Francisco. He did
a “street retreat,” living
without a home for a week.
He is pictured here with
a friend at St. Boniface
Church in San Francisco,
which is open daily to
people without shelter.
is a writer and
editor in Chicago. Although
now a member
of Our Lady of
she still lives
distance of St.
she grew up.