The Lay Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (Lay MSC) are a group of Catholic men and women who have been drawn together from diverse walks of life by the mission of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the Spirituality of the Heart. In union with the MSC, they have chosen to study, share, pray and encourage each other to live fully their call to holiness received in baptism. They share their experience of Christ's compassionate love daily with the people with whom they live, work, and socialize.
Like Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Lay MSC are moved by God's love for us and strive to be living signs of His love, hope, and healing to all people, especially those in despair and pain. By their imitation of Christ, particularly His openness, concern, gentleness and compassion, they seek to help build the Kingdom of God here on earth and work to further justice, love and peace.
Those who dream of creating such a world are invited to join.
Groups of Lay MSC are formed near MSC communities and meet monthly in small groups to pray, share and help each other grow spiritually in their personal lives, work and ministry.
For more information on USA Lay MSC, please contact us at
Lay MSC Send Donations to Areas Affected by Hurricane Sandy
Monday, 12 November 2012 16:28
Lay Missionaries Marie Pellish and Lynn Ditlow have witnessed the destructive power of Hurricane Sandy in two countries. On October 14, the two Lay Missionaries of the Sacred Heart from Pennsylvania traveled to Kingston, Jamaica to bring donated supplies and participate in the work of the Missionaries of the Poor there. During the second week of their two-week mission trip, Hurricane Sandy struck. There was no power all week, and the hurricane caused a lot of damage in eastern Jamaica, including at each of the five apostolates of the Missionaries of the Poor. The clean up was still continuing the day they left, October 28th.
After many weather-related delays and travel changes, Marie and Lynn made it back to Pennsylvania just before Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the shores of New Jersey. In the aftermath of the storm, they thought they saw a way the Lord was calling them to help.
On October 14, Marie Pellish and Lynn Ditlow, two Lay Missionaries of the Sacred Heart from Pennsylvania traveled to Kingston, Jamaica to bring donated supplies and participate in the work of the Missionaries of the Poor there. This is the Lay MSC’s second mission trip to Kingston (the first was last year).
Earlier in October, fellow Lay Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in New York had hosted a collection at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown, for items needed by the Missionaries of the Poor in Kingston. Parishioners at several other churches also got involved, including at All Souls Church in Chaumont, NY, St. Patrick’s church (and foreign mission team) in Carlisle, PA and St. Clare of Assisi in St. Clare, PA. Lay Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and an MSC Sister in Reading, PA, several nurses and physicians in Pennsylvania, the National Guard of York, and many friends, family and Facebook friends also joined the effort, contributing time, needed items and monetary donations. Thanks to the support of so many people, Lynn and Marie were able to bring much appreciated clothing, toiletries, non-perishable food items and medical supplies (such as surgical gloves) as well as several medications and vaccines with them. (To see a full list of donated items, please read “Collection Results for Kingston, Jamaica Trip.”) They also brought several images of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, enough for all six centers, and received many comments from both the brothers and the residents. One resident, while looking at the picture, asked if she would be “his mother” too.
While in Kingston, Lynn and Marie helped the Missionaries of the Poor in their work of caring for over 600 people who are homeless, including abandoned children and many elderly men and women, some of whom are physically or mentally impaired. They were there for two weeks, and witnessed Hurricane Sandy’s impact first-hand:
Our first week was sunny and temperatures were in the high 80's low 90's- humidity was greatly felt and the mosquitoes left their 'sting' and itch everywhere! Our second week brought the uninvited guest, 'Hurricane Sandy'! All power was off the entire week, no way to communicate with the outside, no way to charge any cell phones. 'Sandy' made a mess of all of Eastern Jamaica, as well as at each of the five apostolates. Street people living in shacks lost what little shelter they called a 'home'. Clean up is ongoing now, even the day we left, October 28th, and much work will continue for some time.
Until another time, it is great to be home...but part of our love remains in Kingston, Jamaica. 'The call to serve the poor is an invitation to Happiness'!
If you would like more information about becoming a Lay Missionary of the Sacred Heart, please email us at
. Groups of Lay MSC are formed near MSC communities and meet monthly in small groups to pray, share and help each other grow spiritually in their personal lives, work and ministry. Currently there are Lay MSC communities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and California.
Collection results for Kingston, Jamaica Mission Trip
Friday, 09 November 2012 16:13
Before two of their fellow Lay Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Pennsylvania left for a mission trip to Jamaica, the Lay MSC in Watertown, NY hosted a collection for items needed by the Missionaries of the Poor in Kingston, Jamaica.The main collection was at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown, NY but parishioners at several other churches also got involved, including at All Souls Church in Chaumont, NY, St. Patrick’s church (and foreign mission team) in Carlisle, PA and St. Clare of Assisi in St. Clare, PA. Lay Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and an MSC Sister in Reading, PA, several nurses and physicians in Pennsylvania, the National Guard of York, and many friends, family and Facebook friends also joined the effort, contributing time, needed items and monetary donations. Thanks to the generosity and support of parishioners at these two churches, the following much needed and appreciated items arrived in Kingston, Jamaica on October 14, 2012.
12 pkgs diapers, adult and child
11 sheet sets
191 prs clogs and flip flops
188 bars of soap
28 boxes of gauze (710 pads)
48 tubes of antibiotic ointment
15 bottles of lotion
11 pkgs of powdered drinks
24 rolls of surgical tape
99 clothing items
45 pairs of underwear
82 food items
16 tubes of toothpaste
20 misc items
325 prs surgical gloves
500 doses of flu vaccine
89 doses of Tdap vaccine
In addition to the above items, the Lay Missionaries were also able to bring many types and sizes of wound dressings, wound care/burn care medications, over-the-counter medications (such as Tylenol for children and adults as well as Ibuprofen), diabetic and hypertensive medications, and antibiotic ointments. The donations of medications from physicians, pharmacists and nurses was valued at about $16,000. They also brought various hygiene items such as razors and hair clippers as well as candlesticks and clerical stoles for the chapels at each of the six apostolates of the Missionaries of the Poor in Kingston.
California Lay MSC Go to Maneadero, Mexico
Thursday, 22 December 2011 11:37
Update from Fr. John Fahnestock, MSC
The Lay MSC went once again on mission to Maneadero, Mexico on December 3rd, 4th, and 5th. We were able to provide may warm blankets for a lot of people. We were also able to get very close to completing Rosalba's house. Besides the "work" (which is not really work, it's a pleasure) we took time to celebrate a little girl's birthday. The spiritual/retreat part of our trip gave us the opportunity to reflect on the gratitude we have and the many things we have personally learned and appreciated by sharing our life, work, and faith with these, our brothers and sisters south of the border.
MSC in California Welcome New Lay MSC
Thursday, 22 December 2011 11:33
On December 8, 2011, as part of the community's celebration of our founding, another southern Californian became a Lay MSC. Welcome Maria!
Reflections on LHJ in Oaxaca
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 09:49
Last month, members of the LHJ Team held two retreats in Oaxaca, Mexico. Fr. Eduardo Godinez, pastor for nine different communities, wanted the people he serves to experience the healing LHJ offers, a combination of spirituality and psychology/healing behavioral patters. Twenty-three people participated in the first retreat (September 19-20) and 36 participated in the second one (September 22-23).
MSC Priest Fr. Joseph Jablonski, MSC reflects on his experience:
The experience of Oaxaca was a diverse, almost conflicting one. From the very first moment I felt the warmth and care of the people and yet I immediately felt as well that so much "ternura/tenderness" was fruit of real experience of suffering turned into compassion. On the other hand, some of the suffering had also turned into resignation and some into passive resistance of a people long oppressed. As the retreats progressed and healing began, I sensed new energy surging-up and a hope for liberation not only from personal hurts but also the comunal hurt of discrimination and oppression. My hope is that the long-term effect of the retreats will lead to a greater struggle for justice while not losing compassion.
Fr. Joseph Jablonski, MSC
LHJ team member and Lay MSC member Adriana Pickens shares her experience:
When I was invited to go to Oaxaca México with the LHJ Ministry, I felt honored and very happy, because I was going to serve not only as a LHJ team member, but I would also be representing lay MSC members, what a big responsability!
After a lot of prayer and preparation for this trip, I arrived in Oaxaca, México to share my time and whatever was needed of me.
Our Lord in His great goodness and love had something very special planned for me.
He blessed me abundantly by witnessing the faith, gratitude, love, kindness, determination and humbleness of the people participating in the retreats, and in experiencing these God given qualities, my Christian faith and my life have been deeply touched and enriched.