Feast of the Sacred Heart 6/28
To love is to give and to receive. In my life, I have been blessed to always have received love very freely. I have grown up in a loving family, and been part of loving communities and a supportive parish, Our Lady of Czestachowa, continuously surrounded with faith filled friends and colleagues. In a society that wants to normalize brokenness and loneliness, I can humbly say that God has showered me with His abundant love through the people and circumstances that He has allowed me to encounter throughout my life. I can truly say that, were it not for these precious gifts, I would not be who I am today.
I also recognize that I have been given amazing opportunities. I am fortunate to have attended a Catholic university, Ave Maria, where I received an education grounded in truth, beauty and goodness. As a leader of a household there, I learned the sacrifices of living in community; I when voted President of Student Activities, and learned to put the pleasure of others before my own. But it was over one spring break, when I traveled with other students for a mission in Mexico City, that I learned my most important life-lesson: that it is in giving, that I receive.
It was this experience in Mexico that was the beginning of a journey that has opened my eyes to Christ’s call for me to serve Him through serving others, and to the realization that I have been given every opportunity because of the love and sacrifices of others. Therefore, to all who have loved me and supported me with their prayers, kindness and good example, I am sincerely grateful and moved by your generosity.
Since this time, I have grown in my desire to seek out the situations that will allow me to give, rather than to receive. After graduating from Ave Maria, I attempted to find different ways in which I could give of my time and talents to those around me. In these past two years, I have worked with underprivileged children with Autism; volunteered for several months with the Missionaries of Charity in Washington, DC. serving former homeless; led a deanery wide youth group, St. Margaret Mary Girls Club, for upper elementary and middle school girls; and worked as a middle and high school teacher at Saint Michaels Catholic School in Brattleboro,VT. These experiences have only strengthened my desire to serve and to give.
I write to you today to express how this desire has led me to a very special mission within the city of the Sacred Heart in France, Paray-le-Monial, with the Emmanuel School of Mission (ESM). The mission of this school is joyful service and Catholic evangelization. The ESM community is 34 years old and is an international movement dedicated to Pope John Paul II’s “New Evangelization”. The Paray-le-Moniel location is the founding place of the ESM Community, as well as their School of Mission. It is also in this same small city that Jesus first appeared to St. Margaret Mary, revealing to her the desires of His Sacred Heart.
The unique mission of the EMS is to never leave the Heart of Jesus alone by sharing Him with those around us. The ESM is dedicated to helping willing “students” to join them for one year of intense formation, dedicating over 450 hours to studying (in French) Catholicism and Church Teaching. We also will spend many hours traveling throughout France facilitating retreats and evangelizing: living out the teachings of the classroom. The greatest joy for me will be to spend many hours in community prayer, regular sacraments and Eucharistic Adoration. It is not to say that this year will not also be very difficult, for I will be living in a foreign country, with an international community, and every aspect of the school and mission will be executed in French. I will also have to give up the luxury of my cell phone. This is a requirement of the community in order to exercise detachment and to allow me to totally immerse myself in the mission — a small price to pay for a deeper relationship with Christ and His people. This year will be for me a radical living out of the New Evangelization introduced to us by our beloved late Holy Father, Pope St. John Paul II: a mission to which every one of us is called to live out in each our own lives.
So now I come to the most difficult part of my letter: I cannot make this a reality without the continued support and generosity of my family and friends. The cost for this formation and mission (including air fare to France) is $13,000 — once again, I look to you for support.
In so many ways it has been this community that has guided me over the years and instilled in me this desire to serve and bring the light of faith to those around me. It comes from years of witnessing so many strong examples of faithful and dedicated Christians in the families and friends that have been such a huge part of my entire life. If you are able to offer financial support, I would be so very grateful, and promise that I will carry you in my heart, that you may accompany me in my mission. Most importantly, please keep me in your prayers: knowing that my faith community back home is praying for me is what will give me the courage and the determination that I will need in order to persevere in my mission. I pray that
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace. (Num 6: 24-26)
I remain respectfully yours in Christ and His Holy Mother,
Donation Information :
- Your donation is tax deductible.
- 70 people who donate $20 USD per month, over the course of 9 months, or a one time $180 USD donation, will sufficiently finance my mission year.
- You can send your donation by mail to: Aimie Jacques 51 Graves St. S. Deerfield, Ma 01373
- Checks payable to Aimie Jacques
- You can also submit your donation online at: www.givesendgo.com/AimieESM