Mission team takes up ministry of prayer

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Home > Media > News > Mission team takes up ministry of prayer
Mission team takes up ministry of prayer
Lay missionaries Janna Durano (left) and Rogan Onions have taken part in an apostolate of prayer during lockdown.

For young lay missionaries serving on the Immaculata community’s mission team the past few months became an opportunity to grow closer to God and pray for others.

The mission team is made up of long term lay missionaries, as well as young people who have stayed to do a time of extended mission following the 2019 Immaculata Long Term Mission School – a five month program of formation, prayer, community life and mission run by the Sisters of the Immaculata and held in Franklin in the second half of each year.

In March, COVID-19 meant a halt to most traditional forms of ministry.

From an active apostolate of university, youth and school ministries, the mission team turned to an increased apostolate of prayer. Since March, round-the-clock Eucharistic adoration has been maintained in Franklin between the Sisters of the Immaculata in their convent, and the mission team nearby in their mission house chapel.

Janna Durano, 22, from Brisbane, who last year left a career in nursing to become a missionary, said the mission team had been able to pray for the health professionals during COVID-19, and that she’s also come to enjoy praying for the university students she serves.

“Because of the lockdown we weren’t able to have our events in person for a while, so then a lot of our work became prayer,” she said.

“I came to realise how important it was to pray for the students … these are real people, with real lives and real challenges.”

Another young missionary is Rogan Onions, 20, from Wagga Wagga.

Although he has been singing in the team’s music ministry since last year, it wasn’t until the time of extended mission – and the months of lockdown – that he learnt to play the guitar. He has now written several original songs.

Confidence in speaking to groups is something he says he’ll take away from his time on mission.

Despite the lockdown, he was able to put it into practice with the mission team going online with running university ministry and a parish youth group via Zoom.

He said that the round-the-clock Eucharistic adoration meant there was a lot of preparing for the ministries through prayer, and that it was a time of growth and receiving from God.

“It was a time to get to know God even more, and to let Him work in me,” Rogan said.

Being in lockdown with his fellow missionaries was a joy.

“One of the major [joys] was being with other people who really want to grow closer to God like you do. It’s like you form very genuine caring friendships that aren’t about being friends – they’re about getting the other person closer to God as well.”

The next Long Term Mission School is on track to begin in August.

While some past attendees have gone on to discern consecrated life or serve in full-time ministry, others have entered secular professions and “be the holiness in the world which Vatican II talks about,” said Mother Mary Therese Ramsden of the Sisters of the Immaculata.

Past mission schools have not only attracted Tasmanians and mainlanders, but also young people from England and America.

The sisters, the mission school and the mission team rely on divine providence, and many young people need sponsorship to attend.

“These young people are just beautiful, and they’re giving everything to be able to serve. They’re not getting paid for it. They’re just doing it for the love of God to give their time to serve in this diocese.”

Find out more about the Immaculata Long Term Mission School here.