The Latin American Mission Program (LAMP) of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlottetown is preparing to send a new missionary to the Dominican Republic (DR).
Ryan MacRae of Stratford, P.E.I., has completed a six-session orientation to the mission and has been studying Spanish.
Most Rev. Richard Grecco will preside over a missioning ceremony during the Sunday mass at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish on Sunday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. The process and content of the ceremony affirms that MacRae is being sent by the Diocese of Charlottetown to the church in the Dominican Republic.
The formal mission in the Dominican Republic will begin on his arrival on Feb. 3. Many Islanders join with LAMP and the Diocese in supporting him as he begins what will likely be a life-changing experience. All are welcome at Sunday’s missioning ceremony.
Once in the DR, the Misioneros del Sacrado Corazón (Missionaries of the Sacred Heart) in Santiago de los Caballeros will receive MacRae as an associate member. This church organization has been a LAMP partner and supporter for many years. MacRae will live with a Dominican family to be introduced to the culture and to improve his Spanish.
MacRae will become part of an organization, Fondación Mujer Iglesia (Woman-Church Foundation). He will gradually involve himself in the work of Mujer Iglesia, which is designed to improve the lives of impoverished families in the region by community organizing to develop the economic and social self-reliance of women.
LAMP member Father Eddie Cormier, currently in the Dominican Republic, will introduce MacRae to church officials and to the leadership of Mujer Iglesia, which also is a LAMP partner organization. He will begin his work orientation within a few weeks of his arrival.
The P.E.I. orientation program in which MacRae participated included such themes as Introduction to LAMP’s History and Mission, History of the Dominican Republic, Dominican Politics, Dominican Church Reality, Faith of the Dominican People, Theology of Liberation, Dominican Republic Economy and the Environment, Two Structural Frameworks - Charity and Social Justice, Canadian Cultural Baggage and Dominican Culture.
MacRae has an academic and work history which is an impressive grounding for his life and work in the Dominican Republic. He graduated with a BA first class honours with distinction in economics from Mount Allison University (2017), a program in which he studied the economic impacts on the environment and Capitalism’s disproportionate global effects. His work and volunteer experiences as a student include the following: Global Brigade in rural Hondurus as part of the Microcredit Brigade, the UYP Refugee Project in Ankara, Turkey, which is concerned with the influx of Syrian refugees; Divest MTA, as part of a movement to urge the university to withdraw its investment from the fossil fuel industries; Junior Forest Ranger Crew Leader (Alberta) and recently as an elementary school tutor in a local school. While a student he also honed his organizational skills as a Gold Cup Parade co-ordinator (2014). His special interest in economics led to his becoming a microeconomics teaching assistant for the past two years.