Thomas Cole Represents Province at Spring Gathering of ISME

HNP Communications Friar News

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Mission promoter Thomas Cole, OFM, represented Holy Name Province at the spring meeting of the Interprovincial Secretaries for Missionary Evangelization of the English-speaking Conference earlier this month.

Friars from the U.S. provinces of St. John the Baptist, Sacred Heart, Assumption and St. Barbara along with Canadian provinces St. Joseph and Christ the King were present, according to Thomas. St. John the Baptist Province hosted the April 12-15 meeting at Mary Gate of Heaven Church in Negril.

For the first time, the Franciscan Mission Service, founded in 1985, participated in the ISME gathering. Kim Smolik, director of FMS, gave a well-received update of finances and the lay mission program to the ISME members.

Tom said attendees discussed how to achieve better collaboration between Franciscan missionary unions and the FMS. Ideas included:
· Partnership in mission (lay missioners serving alongside Franciscans)
· Promoting FMS to lay people considering mission work
· Financial support
· More regular involvement with FMS at ISME meetings

isme-rCurrently in Bolivia, Ignatius Harding, OFM, has helped five new lay missioners find service assignments in Cochabamba.

Tom said the second day of the meeting was spent learning about the Diocese of Montego Bay from Bishop Charles Dufour and touring various mission churches operated by friars from St. John the Baptist Province in cooperation with friars from the Province of Pakistan.

Smolik said Bishop Dufour asked the FMS to “please send them lay missioners,” adding that, “Lay people have an important role in the work that needs to be done in the Church in Jamaica.”