Inspired by Father Verbist’s example, other young men took up the challenge to evangelize in some of the most remote areas of the world and have been among the first to bring the Good News of the Gospel to the peoples of China, the Congo, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Today, more than 700 missionary priests and brothers from Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia, living and working together in multicultural communities as brothers, continue this long tradition of caring for God’s poorest and most neglected people in many parts of the world. In the past 150 years, more the 3000 men have been members of CICM, giving their life for the spread of the Gospel and many of them, like Father Verbist, dying at a young age, especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Unlike some NGOs or relief organizations that arrive at a place when there is some news-making crisis and leave when the crisis has passed, CICM missionaries spend their lives with their people, sharing in their hope and dreams as well as their sufferings and privations. Adopting their language, food, and customs, they inculturate themselves into the life of the people, participating in the day-to-day effort needed to achieve lasting spiritual and material change.
What do we do?
In response to people’s spiritual needs, CICM missionaries may staff parishes, administer sacraments, teach, preach, and engage in special ministries to the youth, the sick and aged, prisoners and university students. In response to people’s material needs, CICM missionaries may help to build schools or orphanages, dispensaries or nutritional centers, or they may engage in projects to improve a farmer’s yield or to bring clean water to a village. As trusted members of the community where they live, they work in close cooperation with the local authorities and the people to promote dignity, self-reliance, and a decent standard of living.
Where are we?
CICM Missionaries are currently working in some 20 countries around the world. Now as always, their work continues to be sharing the hope and comfort of the Gospel while relieving the suffering of our poorest and most neglected brothers and sisters in Christ.