As Catholics, we are taught to respect the fundamental dignity of the human person, and we hope to see that dignity reflected in all God’s children. This respect for God’s children is reflected in the work of the Mustard Seed Communities (MSC).
Mustard Seed was founded by Msgr. Gregory Ramkissoon, a Catholic priest in Jamaica. MSC started in Jamaica and expanded to Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and now has a presence in Africa. It cares for several hundred children with special physical and mental health needs, many of whom have been abandoned. It strives to protect the most vulnerable of God’s children. It also provides a home for teenage mothers and their babies. Many of these mothers have been disenfranchised from their families and are in need of emotional, spiritual, and financial support. MSC also manages a number of community outreach programs to combat poverty and provide educational opportunities to local populations.
The Mustard Seed Mission Statement is as follows: “Inspired by the healing and Ministry of Jesus Christ, we aim through the positive interaction of caring, sharing and training, to uplift the most vulnerable members of society, especially disabled and abandoned children, and marginalized communities. We are committed to the fostering of homes and communities, which will lead us all to loving service and mutual respect and which will bring us joy, hope and dignity.”
Saint Brigid Parish supports MSC primarily through its spiritual and financial assistance. Our parishioners also participate in mission trips to assist in the construction of housing for the children in need, and other appropriate projects. Some of our parishioners have also adopted children from the various communities of Mustard Seed. Their sacrificial efforts have afforded a new life here in the United States for these children.
Recently, political and economic turmoil in Nicaragua has caused great stress in the Mustard Seed communities in that country. Mission trips to the Mustard Seed communities there have been greatly curtailed due to travel restrictions and safety concerns. It has become extremely difficult for medical and hygiene supplies needed by these communities to be shipped into the country. The turmoil in Nicaragua may continue indefinitely. The great strain on the Mustard Seed communities there may not be eased any time soon. Saint Brigid has been asked to continue to focus its support on these struggling communities in Nicaragua.
Representatives of MSC will be available after the Masses this weekend to answer questions about Mustard Seed and the work it does. Please prayerfully consider supporting MSC as we stand united with the least of our brothers and sisters.