January 15, 2016
Welcome to USCMA!
I want to do three things in this message – engage you with some questions about mission, introduce myself, and welcome you to the USCMA.
Being new to USCMA, I ponder mission a lot lately. In my conversation with members, the board, and experienced missionaries, I ask them how we understand mission. What is it? What’s involved? Where does it start and where does it end? What is its nature and purpose? I have my thoughts and questions about mission and am very interested in hearing yours.
Will you join us in pondering mission? Mission is the ongoing question that we have embraced. The USCMA is a national association of mission minded disciples who network to animate mission, promote global solidarity, educate for mission, and develop mission resources. I encourage you to explore our website, give us feedback, and ask questions. A lot has changed about mission over the years and a new era of mission opportunity is opening up to everyone in the Church.
For those of you who have been a part of USCMA for some time, you may be curious about who I am as the new Executive Director. In a nutshell, I grew up in Dayton, Ohio and was initially formed by the Society of Mary (Marianists). Barbara Humphrey McCrabb is my wife and we are blessed to have three boys and three grandchildren. We make our home in Washington, DC.
During college, I served mission in Higher Education and eventually became the Executive Director of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association. After twenty years in campus ministry, I was called to pastoral formation work at the Dominican House of Studies and the Catholic Leadership Institute. Also, I have directed the advancement office of the Catholic Youth Foundation USA, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington. Over the years, I developed skills in association leadership and management, pastoral formation, development, and strategic planning.
USCMA is dedicated to mission and to the needs of its members. That is what drew me to the position. I was looking for a leadership position in the church where my experience and passion would help advance the Church’s ability to serve mission. As Pope Francis wrote in Joy of the Gospel¸ “I am a mission on this earth.” (#273) You and I are both “a mission on this earth” and we need each other to understand, and fulfill, our mission.
If there is any message that I want to leave you with is “you are welcome” here. Whether you are a retired missionary who served a life-time in another country or a young adult seeking God in your life, you are welcome here.
We want to explore mission together so that, together, we can embody the mission of Jesus Christ in our time and in every place. Welcome to the world changing enterprise we call “mission.”
Together in Mission,
Dr. Donald R. McCrabb