Reverse Mission

Posted on 30. May, 2013, in Church Teachings, Poverty2 Comments

Michael McCullagh, a Vincentian priest said that St. Vincent de Paul had a radical understanding of mission when said “Only for your love, your love alone, will the poor forgive you for the bread you give them.” This is an understanding he says, that we need to bring to the world today in engage in what he calls “reverse mission” and how we can seek rather to be transformed than to transform. Here talking to Miriam Gormally he discusses why he decided to bring this idea to his work in Ethiopia.

2 responses to “Reverse Mission”

  1. Suzanne Ryder says:

    Michael brought me back to time I spent in Perú. So often I needed to have veils of prejudice lifted from my eyes. I remember one day going into a small art gallery with a Peruvian friend. I didn’t notice at first that she was not with me. then I saw that her bag was being searched by a Peruvian security guard. My friend was darker in colour than the usual Peruvian and was clearly materially poor, so was suspect. while I was not dressed very well, my white skin made me beyond reproach. Long may reverse mission live, so that we can wash our hearts clean of our many possesions.

    • Michael McCullagh says:

      Thank you Suzanne for contributing to the conversation with a practical account of how privileged we can be. Hopefully with Pope Francis the theology of people like Gustavo Gutierrez may come back among us as we begin again to drink from the wells of our own faith experience.