Missionary Life

Ever since I was very little I wanted to be a missionary. In 3rd grade I started sponsoring my first orphan through an agency -splitting the cost with my college brother and doing odd jobs to earn my little part. Throughout grade school and high school I did 'missionary work' here in the US, simply by volunteering a the women's shelter, Catholic Charities, caring for abused children through a local agency, creating a pre-school CCD program for my parish and teaching 20+ little ones every Sunday. After my Junior year in High School in 1994 I went for the first time on a foreign mission to Russia for the summer. And I fell in love with the missionary life and felt strongly called to give my entire life to living something in that realm -even if I was married with children. After graduating from Notre Dame in 1999 and spending a year living as a hermit to discern my vocation, I moved to South Texas to volunteer teach junior high at a border school, volunteered at a juvenile prison and prepared to travel the following year to Eastern Siberia to help found the Russian Mission for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. I lived in Eastern Siberia from 2001-2003 (returning every year for the next 7 years on a one-month visa) and then spent 2003-2011 traveling to various missions all over the world to help in many different ways. I would live with either the religious sisters, priests, bishop or religious community that ran the mission and serve as they needed most. During this time I served in Siberia, Russia, Poland, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, Israel, England, Ireland, Bosnia, Italy, France, Mexico, the Philippines. My work included prisons, troubled teens, homeless, victims of concentration camps, orphans, street children, retreats (for children, women, seminarians, parishes, young people), conferences and individual counsel for priests and religious sisters, childcare, prayer ministry in areas of violence, spiritual counsel, prayer meetings and catechesis, hosting AA groups and pantomime theater, pro-life work, family formation, pilgrimages, cleaning, rehabilitating street women, deliverance ministry, normal mission upkeep (includes pretty much anything needed from doctoring simple wounds, gardening, cooking, braiding hair, playing sports to 'make-do' plumbing problems) and simply loving those who nobody loved. Also time was spent studying (and teaching) Theology and Languages.

Stain-glass window in the chapel of Our Lady Of Corpus Christi, TX (SOLT) depicting our founding of the Russian Mission in 2001 (I am the lay woman).

RUSSIA

-Click here to go to the page on my book about Russia, which has many mission pictures.

Mary Kloska on The Russian Mission

Mary Kloska on the Russian Spirituality of Poustinik (Hermit), Strannik (Pilgrim), Uridivoy (Holy Fool) and Staretz (Wise Elder)

AFRICA

Photos are from my time in Nigeria, Tanzania and South Africa -as well as a few of my niece Kadie, who my sister ended up adopting from Ethiopia after being inspired by my work with African orphans.

The Philippines

The poorest place we visited was 'Smokey Mountain' -the trash dump in Manila, which is home to over 200,000 people who live solely off of what they find in the trash.

Poland

I could never show enough to explain my life in Poland all of these years. Poland was often my home base from which I traveled out to the missions. Here are just a very few pictures from my years living there.

Israel

© 2020 by Mary Elizabeth Kloska, Fiat

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