In 1964, Fr. John Maronic, O.M.I., founded a spiritual support group for people with disabilities or who were chronically ill, then known as “Victim Missionaries.” Its purpose was to encourage those with disabilities to reach out to others with disabilities, sharing their gifts and spreading the Good News of the Gospel. The name “Victim Missionaries” was changed in 1984 to “Victorious Missionaries,” signifying the positive, active qualities members have to offer.
|“Although we have various disabilities, our spiritual abilities have been developed, and we are like one extended family learning about and bringing Christ into our lives.” Leonita Wittbrodt, Flint, MI|
Today, the Victorious Missionaries are comprised of a diverse group – laity and religious, women and men, the young and not so young. The VMs have six chapters throughout the United States. They meet regularly for spiritual growth, renewal, and fellowship. Members also take part in retreats and are called to a personal prayer ministry. “The Uplift,” a quarterly newsletter produced by the VM National Office, is sent to all members at no cost.
|“Those of us involved in the Victorious Missionaries—who experience physical disabilities and supportive members—want to move beyond sympathy. We want to be a part of the sharing.” Barbara Devaraj, Houston, TX|
The Victorious Missionaries are a visionary people who are called to a way of life that sees beyond suffering and struggles to the victory that is born through the spirit of love. Their goal is to provide an atmosphere whereby everyone is viewed in the same light, and yet challenges and encourages each person to develop and share his or her unique gifts.
|“The Victorious Missionaries is God calling us together in a sense of community, a call to a deeper involvement and ministry in the areas of the poor, handicapped and needy. ‘I have given you my spirit,’ says Jesus, ‘I have given you a community.’ Minister, love and serve.’ ” Fr. Roger Karban, Belleville, IL|