Lay Missioners - Discernment

The following are suggested areas to reflect on concerning your personal motivation and capacity for cross-cultural mission. We are all called by virtue of our baptism to be missionary. This means a call to be involved in transforming our world together in, with, and through Christ so that our world is one where God's reign is evident and where there are values which promote and sustain life in God: love, justice, equality, peace, hope, gratitude, acceptance, inclusivity, tolerance and faith.

Photo of missionary speaking with a child

Overseas mission is an option which does call forth particular gifts, skills and capacities for living life in another land among another people, languages, cultures, faiths and traditions.

Overseas Service - Serving in faith...Guided by the Spirit

Interested in working among peoples of other cultures, faiths and traditions?

Ever feel nudged to move beyond the familiar? Scarboro Missions offers opportunities for Canadian Catholics to share life and faith with people of other lands and cultures.

Signs of being called to overseas mission:

  • An uneasiness with the way things are in our world
  • A desire to make a difference, to bring about God's Reign of justice, peace and love.
  • A commitment to Christ as the foundation for all we do.
  • A readiness to let go of the familiar and to serve God as freely and faithfully wherever this may lead.
  • A joyful spirit which embraces the people among whom we serve.
  • Humility to acknowledge our limitations and our need for forgiveness and to let go of failures.
  • A sense of humour which rejoices in life, carries us through hard times and helps us laugh at our mistakes.

Freedom: Am I free...

  • From family obligations? i.e. dependent children. Scarboro Missions' marriage policy does not accept single parents with dependent children, or, as a rule, married couples with more than two pre-school children. (Factors such as previous overseas experience are taken into account.) Our policy is, in the case of married couples, not to accept one spouse without the other.
  • From financial obligations? i.e. loans, debts. (There is the possibility of dialogue concerning student loans)
  • From commitments to religious orders or vowed life?
  • From any criminal charges?
  • From a serious relationship (romantic involvement) with another? It is advisable to pursue such a relationship and see how the relationship evolves first, before entering into overseas service as a lay missioner.

Capacity for Cross-Cultural Mission:

  • In terms of work experience, how do I see myself being able to use my talents and experience overseas?
  • Have I volunteered my services outside my own economic class? ethnic group? educational level?
  • Do I believe in the poor as revealing, in a special way, the face of God?
  • Have I looked for ways to be involved with the poor or marginalized in my area?
  • Do I believe and have I acted on the Gospel responsibility to be a person of justice?
  • How have I related to people who would be seen as "different" from myself?
  • Have I travelled and had experiences outside my own "home"?
  • What am I doing now, or what have I done that would demonstrate my capacity to live and work effectively with people "different" from me?

Married Couples:

  • Are we still adjusting to life as a married couple and needing to invest our emotional energies into this area?
  • Are we both sensing this call to be lay missioners? Does one of us seem to be more interested than the other?
  • Have we prayed about this together as a couple?
  • Have we shared our thoughts on this desire to go overseas with friends and people who know us? What is their feedback?
  • Have we ever travelled together to another country?What was the experience like for us as a couple?
  • Are we happy and peaceful in our life here as a family?
  • Are we thinking that going overseas together is a solution to difficulties we are experiencing here at this time?

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