Missionaries of the Poor
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2008)|
The Missionaries of the Poor (MOP) is an international Roman Catholic monastic religious institute of Brothers dedicated to "Joyful Service with Christ on the Cross" to serve the poorest of the poor. It was started in 1981 by Father Richard Ho Lung in Kingston, Jamaica and has now grown to over 550 brothers from 13 countries.
Their headquarters is in Kingston, Jamaica, where they maintain six mission homes for destitute persons, including abandoned sick, disabled, or dying men, women, infants, and children. They also operate in India (Andhra Pradesh and Orissa), the Philippines (Naga City and Cebu), Haiti (Cap-Haïtien), Uganda (Kampala), Kenya (Nairobi) and the United States (Monroe, North Carolina). A mission is being established in Indonesia.
One of the most striking characteristics of the life and works of MOP is the award-winning Caribbean-style Christian music that they produce. Most songs are written by Father Ho Lung and performed by Father Ho Lung & Friends. The music generates revenue for the mission.
The brothers, who gave away all personal belongings, take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Everything is done in community including eating, sleeping, and traveling. All their daily activities revolves around prayer, service and worship. More than just giving aid with food, clothing and shelter, the Missionaries of the Poor are dedicated to building up the Church and spreading the Faith. Dedicated to the Holy Rosary, they wear the beads on their sash, and it was on the feast of the Holy Rosary in 1997 that the Holy See recognized them as religious community.
Ho Lung stepped down as leader of MOP in 2014, with Brother Augusto Silot succeeding him.