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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Friday

Mission Moment: You’re beautiful

Note: What follows is the first in a regular series of stories we’ll share on redemptorists.net about people who’s lives have been changed through a Redemptorist parish mission.

I was giving a talk on confession, and I said, "Most of you would probably rather have a root canal than go to confession." When we go to confession, so often we just zero in on our sins and not on what Jesus wants to give us in that sacrament.

I saw this 7-year-old girl sitting next to her mother. I called her up to the front and had her stand next to me. She held my hand. And I said, "See this innocence of this little girl? All of you have a nostalgia for this innocence. When you go to confession, Jesus restores that innocence. That’s what your soul’s going to look like."

I preach missions with the help of a Redemptorist lay missionary. She said that I told the girl two or three times, "You’re beautiful." I don’t remember saying that at all. But the girl ran back to her mother. The mother had tried to tell her daughter several times how beautiful she was, but the girl just kept saying, "No, I’m ugly."

After standing up there with me in front of the church, the girl ran back and told her mother, "You’ve been trying to tell me I’m beautiful but I didn’t believe it. Now I know."

— Fr. Bill Gaffney, C.Ss.R.

To find a Redemptorist parish mission near you, view our parish missions calendar.