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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Remembering All of Our Fathers...

Posted by Holly Benner on Jun 14, 2021 2:16:24 PM

With Father’s Day approaching, we are busy with plans to properly celebrate the important men in our lives: the men who raised us, who supported us, who took care of our bumps and our bruises. We celebrate all fathers on this special day: biological, adopted, step, foster, and even those who answered the call to become priests.

Read More

Topics: Catholic Missions, help the Pope's missions, Africa, Father's Day, Sacraments

A Mother's Embrace

Posted by Holly Benner on May 5, 2021 4:02:25 PM

There I was, a U.S. lay missionary traveling in an SUV full of African nuns on our way home from a long, hot day of mission work in the slums. Suddenly, we came across an armed robber. Might I just add that I have never driven in reverse so fast in all of my life! Even though I was raised in the country of Pennsylvania, where we participated in all sorts of somewhat reckless behaviors with our vehicles, this by far was beyond my wild childhood memories. At this particular moment in time, I was a 40-some year-old woman, finding myself grasping hands with religious Sisters, as the vehicle was suddenly shifted into reverse.

Read More

Topics: Catholic Missions, Missionary Sisters, Mother's Day, Africa

Easter Treats

Posted by Holly Benner on Mar 30, 2021 2:33:58 PM

Easter is almost here. What does that mean for you? Christian tradition celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus and marks the end of Lent, which is a period of fasting or giving up certain treats. During the Easter Season, families have many celebratory traditions, such as egg hunts, Easter parades, and festive family dinners. And there is the matter of Easter candy...

Read More

Topics: Catholic Missions, children in need, Easter, Africa, Peeps, Easter basket

The Poor Widow’s Mite

Posted by Holly Benner on Feb 24, 2021 12:27:13 PM

In the past few weeks, I have received numerous phone calls from a priest friend in Philadelphia, Monsignor Vincent Walsh, who has been very supportive of the work I have done in Africa throughout the years. His spiritual support remains a big part of my life. During our recent phone calls, he’s asked me many questions about my conversion and my calling to missionary work. His current goal is to publish a book about my mission adventures. As I was sharing with him, one particular story came to my mind. It was a time that I felt like I was personally witnessing the “poor widow’s mite” (Mark 12:41-44) from the Gospel.

Read More

Topics: Catholic Missions, Lent, widow's mite, Africa, mission journey

needsgreatest
Monthly Challenge: Learn More

Strive to live global solidarity..png

Subscribe to this Blog

Recent Posts