Holly Benner

Recent Posts

'Surviving' the Seminary

Posted by Holly Benner on Jun 29, 2022 4:58:25 PM

As a Catholic of only 23 years, I have participated in many different groups and organizations to try and find my niche in the Church. One of my favorite Catholic organizations that I have been a member of is the Serra Club. The Serra Club and its members are devoted to promoting vocations to the priesthood and Religious life.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, prayer, sacrifice, Kenya, Africa, priestly ordination, Society of St. Peter Apostle, seminarians

The Missionary Domino Effect

Posted by Holly Benner on May 27, 2022 10:01:07 AM

This past month we marked the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the first of the Pontifical Mission Societies, as well as the beatification of Pauline Jaricot, whose vision led to the founding of that Pope’s mission society.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, prayer, sacrifice, Kenya, Africa, MCA, Missionary Childhood Association, Pauline Jaricot, Beatification

Cherishing God's Gifts

Posted by Holly Benner on Apr 28, 2022 6:54:41 PM

Each April we celebrate “Earth Day.”  Our planet is an amazing place, but it needs our help and TLC to thrive. I do try my best to do my part in cherishing, protecting, and treasuring the beautiful world God has given to us.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, prayer, sacrifice, Africa, MCA, Missionary Childhood Association, Earth Day

War Does Not Discriminate

Posted by Holly Benner on Mar 30, 2022 2:32:22 PM

It currently seems impossible to turn on the television or radio without hearing something about the war happening in Ukraine. The death and destruction is accompanied by millions of people, fearing for their lives, fleeing as refugees to other countries for safety. Unfortunately, groups just as large are being left behind, cut off from basic utilities and lacking access to water, food, medication, electricity, sanitation, and even shelter. Hospital workers are struggling to give care and are being forced to relocate their patients to bomb shelters or basements. For many of us, the thought of this currently happening is almost impossible to comprehend and accept. Unfortunately, for myself, I have previously come face-to-face with the terrors that surround war.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, prayer, sacrifice, Lent, Africa, MCA, Missionary Childhood Association, peace, Ukraine, war

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Posted by Holly Benner on Feb 28, 2022 1:19:23 PM

I love Ash Wednesday: the symbolism of receiving a cross of ashes on my forehead; the start of Lent, 40 days for prayer and sacrifice, demonstrating our gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Every year these reminders help me to not take Jesus’ love for granted and to grow a bit more in my faith.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, prayer, sacrifice, Lent, Africa, Sisters, Nuns, food, Ash Wednesday, MCA, Missionary Childhood Association

Planting the Seeds for Success

Posted by Holly Benner on Jan 26, 2022 1:03:05 PM

One of my most cherished memories from my mission trips was working with orphaned children cared for by local Sisters. Many of these efforts in the Missions ~ like the orphanages I spent time in ~ are supported by donations from children here in the United States through the Missionary Childhood Association.  The Sisters there provided children with all their basic needs, as well as a place they could call home. Many of these children did not just suffer from being parentless, they often suffered from malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and infections from contaminated local drinking water.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, Africa, Sisters, orphans, orphanages, Nuns

Christmas Gift of Life

Posted by Holly Benner on Dec 22, 2021 4:15:36 PM

I’m sure that everyone is quite familiar with the biblical story of the Three Wise Men (Kings or Magi) who visited the baby Jesus. As I reflect upon this story this Christmas, my focus always turns to the star that guided these three men. This star is better known as the “Star of Bethlehem.” When thinking about this story and this star, I always think back to one of my missionary journeys to Africa. This one particular journey led me to Africa on Christmas Eve, and during a lengthy, very spirited Christmas Eve service, one of the Sisters had shared some information with the villagers that were in attendance. Much to my surprise, the information being shared that evening was about me, the visitor in attendance who was from Bethlehem. No, not “the” Bethlehem, better known as the birthplace of Jesus, but the beautiful little city of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, that was founded on Christmas Eve night, and thus named after the birthplace of our Lord.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, Christmas, Africa, water

A Blessed Sweater

Posted by Holly Benner on Nov 23, 2021 4:53:19 PM

At Thanksgiving, most of all, I like to spend time reflecting on my life, and all of the things for which I’m most thankful. I have been so blessed with the gift of bringing goods to countries where people might not find it quite as easy to find reasons to be grateful. To some degree, I understand their struggle which is why I am so passionate about my mission work. Let me explain a little bit about my past, and how one beautiful little African girl's story truly hit home for me.

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, Thanksgiving, Africa, sweater

God Always Sends Treats to Follow the Tricks

Posted by Holly Benner on Oct 29, 2021 5:07:38 PM

Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is one of the oldest holidays observed throughout the world. It falls on the eve of All Hallows’ Day, or All Saints’ Day, November 1, which is a celebratory day to honor all of the saints, known and unknown, who have attained Heaven. November 2, All Souls’ Day, was established with the intention of praying for all of the souls of those who had died and were still awaiting their entrance into Heaven. Therefore, we spend All Souls’ Day praying for the souls of the faithfully departed who are in purgatory. In fact, we continue this prayer for those we've loved and lost throughout November. 

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Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, pumpkin carving, trick or treat

The Substitute

Posted by Holly Benner on Sep 28, 2021 4:43:26 PM

Have you ever seen the Staples® back-to-school commercial? It shows parents joyfully filling their shopping carts with school supplies, gearing up to send their children back to school, while the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays in the background. Every time I see this commercial pop up, I have to admit that it does make me chuckle. More importantly though, I think about all of the teachers and school staff who also are preparing to begin a new year. I think, “How difficult it must be for them, now more than ever before!”

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Topics: Catholic Missions, Back to School, missions, teachers, face painting

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