Thanks to the support of the Koch Foundation and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, LCI has expanded its outreach through the founding of the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Center for Evangelization. LCI hosts conferences, seminars, icon courses, retreats, and a mission outreach program. The aim of the Center is to re-evangelize the secularized countries of Eastern and Central Europe and to prepare seminarians, priests, and lay men and women for missionary work. Fr. Joseph Veresh, an LCI alumnus of Mukachevo, Ukraine, is the spiritual and academic director of the Center.
Since January 2017, LCI has a full-time mission outreach program for young Catholics from the USA. The program consists of a semester of spiritual and theological formation, language training, and practical experience at the Kartause in Gaming, Austria, followed by a year-long mission in Eastern Europe.
Is this a Catholic program?
Yes. The Sts. Cryil and Methodius mission outreach program is part of the Language & Catechetical Institute, a Catholic organization which is subject to the teachings and practices of the Church.
What kind of housing will I have in the formation mission parts of the program?
For the first part of the program in Gaming, Austria, missionaries will live in a shared dorm room at the Kartause alongside other missionaries, LCI students, and Franciscan University students. During the yearlong mission, housing will vary from a shared apartment to a room at a retreat house.
How safe is Eastern Europe? Is it safe to travel and live there?
The societies in the countries of Eastern Europe are stable and free from widespread violent crime. CMC will be working with people and organizations known directly through LCI, so the safety factor is high.
How do missionaries support themselves?
CMC missionaries are asked to raise a support team by writing letters, making phone calls, speaking at their home churches, and doing other fundraising activities. If God has called you to missions, He will provide. The support team participates in your mission through monthly gifts and prayer support. In return, they receive the blessing of drawing closer to the mission of the Church in the world. We will help you to compile materials needed for raising your support team and can help you compile a list of benefactors from among your family, friends, and broader community, and to draft a letter requesting funds. Our missionaries are easily able to raise the funds needed.
How many weeklong mission trips will there be during the formation period?
The formation period includes two weekend missions and two weeklong mission trips.
How many missionaries will be accepted into the program? How many missionaries will be at each site?
Between eight and twelve missionaries from the USA will be accepted for the first year. Each mission site will have two to four missionaries who will live together and share a common life of prayer and work.
What language will I learn?
After being placed on a team, missionaries will begin learning the language of the site where they will serve: Slovak or Romanian.
How many hours of classes per day will I have during the formation period?
Class hours per day will vary from three to six, depending on the topic and the format of the class. Some classes will be seminar-format, and others will be lectures.
What will my main service work be during the yearlong mission? Will I be teaching English?
Yes. All missionaries will be equipped to teach English and organize English club activities. Evangelization and charitable outreach beyond that will depend on the needs of the dioceses. It will vary from playing with underprivileged children to giving chastity talks to teens and caring for the elderly.