April 26, 2023

Mission Country – Pausing to Take a Breath

Pablo Joaquín Gallo-Alcántara Mostaza

„Misión País“


is a project in Spain. Its goal is to bring Christ to villages there. This objective could be understood simply as volunteer work, but we who have experienced it, know this term falls short of what it is.

During the mission week, the people of the villages and the missionaries themselves experience a wealth of impressions that, I honestly can say, I have not experienced anywhere else. One of the missionaries explained it this way: I don’t think it can expressed more precisely than by saying: Through Mission Country, God transforms the missionaries and places them in the service of the Church and of those in most need. “It is a time of transformation, learning, and surrender.”

For an entire week, it seems that neither trials nor problems of any sort can stop the missionaries from giving themselves. Each one gives him/herself in their own way, but I am sure, each one gives their all and holds nothing back.  And, as I already said, with the goal of bringing Jesus where he is most needed.

This year there were fourteen villages and five hundred missionaries. Missionaries had already been in some of the villages the previous year; for example, Villanueva del Rio y Minas (Sevilla). Some of the villages were new, like Pedralba (Valencia) or La Carlota (Córdoba). Every mission lasts three years and each year we see at work the graces that the Blessed Mother gives from the shrine.

From my point of view, and in spite of my lack of experience, I can say that those of us who know what Mission Country is, count the days until we can go to our respective cities. We are committed, both at work and in our studies, not to miss such an event. And we live each day of the mission as if it would be our last—as the great soccer coaches demand—we give everything we have on the field.  During the missions, we get up very early to visit homes, day care centers, and schools, young and old, and to accompany the people. In the afternoon, we go from door to door in the streets of the village and try to help the residents in every imaginable way. In the evening, we meet for prayer; this helps us process our experiences in the awareness that we are instruments [of God and the Blessed Mother].

For all of us, Mission Country is a privileged time in which we not only serve but also come to know the mission that God has for every single one of us. But beyond that, we see how he forms us and leads us at the hand of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Although many people think you have to leave Spain to serve the Church, this is not the reality. Thanks to this project, every year young people from all over Spain feel called to bring Christ where he is most needed in our homeland.

A Missionary from Spain