The Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy Guest Program consists of single men and women, usually between the ages of 19 and 35, who normally give a year-long commitment to God in Lee, Massachusetts by embracing the Marian Missionary spirituality and mission through an ordered life of community, prayer, formation, and service.
An essential aspect of Marian Missionary spirituality is community. (Mary, Mercy, Community). While all members of the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy are called to embrace what St. John Paul II called a “spirituality of communion,” a more intense expression of this dimension of our charism can be found in Lee, Massachusetts. There, an intentional community of men and women have committed themselves to a more intense living of the charism. The Guest Program is for those who are interested in experiencing the spirituality of the Marian Missionaries on a deeper level through such community life and includes those who may be discerning making a more stable commitment as an M-3 Helper.
Those in the Guest Program commit themselves to a life of prayer with the Lee Community. While there are contemplative aspects to this life of prayer, including opportunities to spend time in Poustinia, the schedule of prayer is tailored toward those called to active ministry.
Daily Mass constitutes the center of the Lee Community’s life of prayer. This life of prayer normally includes communal meditation/adoration in silence, morning and evening prayer, the Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and spiritual reading. The spirit of this life of prayer includes the following emphases:
- Daily, deliberate encounters with the love and mercy of the Heart of Jesus, through Mary, that fosters the joy of the Gospel.
- Intercessory prayer that God would “have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
- Daily examination of conscience so as to become a “contemplative in action” who can recognize the Father’s constant care and providential love in all things.
The heart of the formation program for Guests is a deepening encounter with the tender love of the Heart of Jesus, facilitated by Mary and the Holy Spirit, that brings us more deeply into the love of the Heart of God the Father. Formation includes small-group discussion, homilies, and conferences on Marian Missionary spirituality by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, Fr. James Devine, MIC, and others. However, the main vehicle of formation is the communal life itself.
By the end of their year, each Guest will have a thorough understanding and experience of the Marian Missionary of Divine Mercy spirituality, which they can carry with them through life. Indeed, those Missionaries who have participated in the formation program in Lee have years later often expressed profound gratitude for having received such solid spiritual formation that sustains them in Gospel joy.
There is no cost for participants in the Guest Program. However, each Guest is expected to work alongside others in the Lee Community in service to the community itself and/or to those outside the community.
Service within the Lee Community includes the following: sacristan ministry, kitchen duties, and also farm, yard, garden, and office work.
Service to those outside the community includes a ministry of presence to the poor, homeless, and elderly and also work with our media apostolate, which serves the larger M-1 community and the Church.
The heart of our service is bringing the joy of the Gospel to everyone, a service that is perhaps best expressed in the Marian Missionary Daily Prayer:
Good and gracious Father in heaven, in this time of great mercy, please grant to us Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy the grace to understand, accept, and trust in the love and mercy pouring forth from the Heart of your Son, Jesus.
Dear Mary, our Mother, please keep us under this torrent of grace that it may make us overflow with the joy of the Gospel. Then, with haste, bring us to those who are lonely, sad, and suffering that they may share in our joy and meet the loving gaze of God.
Through this work, may we build up the Body of Christ and thus prepare the world for the coming of him who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
Please note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Guest Program has needed to focus on ministry that allows for social distancing. This includes phone calls to the lonely, sad, and suffering, organizing online small-group discussions among those who are particularly hurting, and greater emphasis on the ministry of intercessory prayer and media apostolate.