It has been said so very often that “no man is an
island.” The well respected
Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, once wrote a book using these words
as the book’s title.
The expression, “no man is an island,” implies that
none of us are totally independent. Rather, we all dependent on others in one way or another for
both goods and services. We
also depend upon others for love, friendship, support, and security.
It is unfortunate that so many people work so very
hard to become islands and wall builders, isolating themselves from
friends, family members, and even their creator, almighty God. This is not healthy behavior, and
sooner or later “islands and wall builders” do pay a very high
price for this kind of dysfunctional and isolating behavior.
Belonging is one of our deepest human needs. That’s why we treasure our human
relationships so very much. We seek friends, join groups and clubs, and stay deeply
bonded to family members. That is also why we seek membership is a church, and why the
Catholic church is so frequently referred to as a community, a
Our Christian roots go back thousands of years. They are planted in ancient
Jewish communities, communities who saw themselves as God’s chosen
people, God’s family.
So when I write to you today, inviting you to again
renew your membership in the Shrine’ Missionary Association, I’m
inviting you to stay united with us in a family partnership of both
prayer and service. Through
your prayers and membership donations you support the education of
our seminarians and the many other religious and spiritual
ministries of the Coredemptrix missionaries, both in the United
States and in Vietnam.
Missionary Association member you are blessed and rewarded daily
with numerous spiritual benefits. You are remembered and prayed for every day of the week in our
community’s Masses and prayers. You are part of the Coredemptrix team, part of our family,
and most importantly, part of our missionary ministry.
Every month I receive dozens of letters from
Association members. Some of
these members have been with us for many decades. Many have lived much longer than
they ever expected and, through no fault of their own, are now
finding themselves more isolated and alone. These elderly members of our
Missionary Association family spend a lot of time praying for our
missionaries, and we in turn, spend a lot of our time praying for
them. We are family. We take care of each other.
So, if you are at all hesitant when it comes to
renewing your Association membership, please do remember that you
are part of our family. We
depend on you, and I’m sure you also depend on our prayers and
devotion for you.
That is why I’ve enclosed your 2014-2015 Missionary
Association Membership certificate. I do hope I can depend upon you to again renew your
Missionary Association membership. Your help does mean so very much to us, and I pray that our
daily prayers for you and your family are equally appreciated by
Please notice that on the back of the enclosed
Missionary Association Certificate are listed all the benefits of
Association membership. You
can also enrolled another loved one in our Missionary Association. If you would like me to send a
membership certificate to that person, please do include that
A minimum $12 donation is all that is required to
remain an active Missionary Association member. If your membership donation is
$24 or more, I would like to show my deep appreciation by sending
to you our 2014 Association membership gift which is pictured and
described in detail on the enclosed donation form.
Do let me hear back from you today so I can be sure
you have received your membership certificate and are enjoying the
spiritual benefits of Missionary Association membership. When sending your Missionary
Association donation, please also let me know of any personal needs
you would like prayed for in our summer Mass Novenas.
I pray all is well and again thank you so very much
for your help over the past years. I pray we will stay part of each other’s family for many
more years to come.
In the love of Our Lord Jesus
Fr. Raymond Dien, CMC