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Gift of All Truth, a missionary action, will focus on young people

Along with the successful Spring of All Hope ministry in place since 2019 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the City of Baltimore will soon have another new urban ministry: Gift of All Truth.

While Source of All Hope involves young urban missionaries reaching out to the homeless, poor and addicted on city streets, Gift of All Truth will focus on sharing the love of Christ with youth across the city. Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The program will be based at Mary Our Queen of the Fatherland Cathedral, whose staff is working with the basilica and the archdiocese’s Institute of Evangelization to start the new venture.

“We realized we needed to think bigger about creating a mission footprint in Baltimore City, establishing a foundation for mission life that would allow us to increase the size of our community, encourage the creation of “a strong training program and to create the kind of hub of missionary life in the city that would attract young adults from across the country to serve in Baltimore,” said Father Brendan Fitzgerald, rector of the basilica.

Outreach to youth in the city seemed like an “ideal way” to expand the Church’s missionary footprint as a natural extension of Wellspring of All Hope, he said.

Gift and Source missionaries will live together on the St. Thomas Aquinas campus in Hampden, through a facility rental agreement awarded by the archdiocese to both programs. The convent and the presbytery are being renovated with the help of volunteers.

The missionaries of the Source of All Hope are in the process of moving to the Hampden property (men in the presbytery and women in the convent) from a former residence near the basilica. They will be joined by the Gift of All Truth missionaries once recruited, as well as new missionaries from the Catholic University Student Fellowship who will come to minister at Johns Hopkins University this year.

Archbishop William E. Lori has appointed Father Louis Bianco as administrator of St. Thomas Aquinas effective July 1, adding to his previous duties as rector of Mary Our Queen Cathedral. Father Bianco will care for the daily operations and spiritual life of both parishes while overseeing Gift of All Truth.

“If we can reach young people to convince them that it is necessary to have God and faith in their lives if they are to thrive in life, then this will benefit not only them but the entire local church of Baltimore,” Father Bianco said.

“Charm City Catholic” is the name the co-cathedrals use for their mission programs.

“We’re really doing something new here, something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the Church in America, as far as I know,” Father Fitzgerald said. “When we go to national recruiting events, we want people to see that there is something really good happening in Baltimore City. Two cathedrals, the archdiocese, local parishes and schools, all coming together to bring Christ to those in need – that’s Charm City Catholic.

There are currently four missionaries from the Source of All Hope for the coming year. The goal is to have 10 to 12 Source missionaries and 10 to 12 Don missionaries in a few years.

Gift of All Truth will recruit missionaries, ages 18-30, from local and national events, college campus ministries, and local parishes. The staff of the cathedrals and the Institute of Evangelization will train the missionaries in their work. At the start of the program, the focus will be primarily on the city, although Father Fitzgerald said Gift of All Truth is open to growth in other parts of the archdiocese.

Father Fitzgerald estimates the annual cost of the program for source and donation at $400,000 which must come from fundraising.

Gift of All Truth will officially launch in the summer of 2024. The initial focus will be on Mother Mary Lange Catholic School in Baltimore, with plans to enter classrooms, meet parents and students and organize a retreat.

“We want to help create long-term relationships with the youth of our city that draw them into a deeper relationship with Christ and his Church,” Father Fitzgerald said.

For more information, visit giftofalltruth.org

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