Brothers of the Poor

Updated: Dec 23, 2018

Today is #ServiceSaturday and so I would like to share with you some of the beautiful work that God has been doing through His people. Work to which, we too, can also give our ‘yes’. I would like to share with you the Missionaries of the Poor (1).

The Missionaries of the Poor (MOP) is group of men religious and women religious - brothers, priests and sisters - who have dedicated their lives to serving the poor. They operate in various countries of the world such as the Philippines, Jamaica, Haiti, and the United States.

Wherever they are located they set up homes for men, homes for women and homes for infants. These men, women and infants are either found on the streets or no longer have any family members that are able to take care of them. So, the missionaries spend every day serving these people.

God worked through Fr. Richard Ho Lung to create this mission. 1981 Fr. Richard Ho Lung founded ‘Brothers of the Poor’ in Jamaica, after he saw that ‘family and community’ were missing in underprivileged communities. His vision was for men religious to share their faith and ministry and through this foster community amongst the underprivileged and ‘the wider society’.

The following year, Brothers of the Poor, was approved by the Archbishop of Kingston, Jamaica and re-named Missionaries of the Poor. Four brothers opened their doors to homeless people, the elderly and to prisoners. Now, with over 550 brothers, as well as MOP sisters, MOP continues serving God’s children in different places of the world.

About 6 years ago, my mother and I took part in the MOP mission for a little over a week. The days would start off with optional morning mass, followed by breakfast and then we’d go out to serve with the brothers. We would either serve men, women or infants. At noon we would pray as a group, have breakfast and then return to our duties. Until dinner time, we would spend time with those in need and then we would return to the MOP house where the brothers lives.

During my time there, my heart was broken, and my heart was warmed. I saw suffering and then I saw love; I saw the consequences of evil and then the consequences of God’s loving hand; I saw sadness and then I saw joy; I saw abandonment and then I saw community. I saw hopelessness and then I saw faith.

If you are willing, you too can very easily take part in the MOP mission! There are countless volunteers that come throughout the whole year, including doctors. Because we stay and eat with the brothers, all we pay for is the flight. Additionally, we are encouraged to bring financial or material donations to help the brothers and sisters in their service. Those of us living in the Toronto region have a great opportunity to get to know the mission a little deeper, as Fr.Richard Ho Lung will be visiting us in Toronto, next month (2).

Let’s put our love in action!

(1) Missionaries of the poor website: https://missionariesofthepoor.org/events/fr-ho-lung-friends/ (2) Fr Richard Ho Lung Event: https://missionariesofthepoor.org/events/concerts-show

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