Our founder, Father Judge, described the Missionary Servant vocation as “makers of apostles.” He liked to remind us that we are missionaries whose chief aim is to make others into missionaries.
For our priests working in Georgia — indeed, throughout the Deep South — being “makers of apostles” is perhaps the greatest gift we can give. It is, after all, a section of our country in need of a visible Catholic presence.
Today, our missionary work in Georgia takes place through two missions: St. Joseph Church in Bainbridge and Holy Family Church in Blakely. Both have a mission church as part of the parish. The number of Catholics in Blakely is small, but the territory covered by the parish is immense. In all, six rural counties are within its boundaries. In Bainbridge, the challenge has been meeting the needs of a growing number of Hispanic Catholics who have moved into the area. We have responded by assigning bi-lingual priests to the mission. In a place with traditionally so few Catholics, it has been a grace to blend the two communities into one large parish family.
Preserving the Catholic faith, bringing people back into a right relationship with God, strengthening the faith of the community of believers — that is the focus of our work in Georgia. Our missionaries are using every opportunity to further the work of the Lord. Through the grace of God, and with the legacy of Father Judge to guide us, we have every hope that our work will continue to bear much fruit.