Throughout the course of the history of the United States, there have been many brave men and women who have spent their lives for the spreading of the Gospel in this great country. The early French Jesuits spread the faith throughout the Northeast and into Canada, some even being disfigured and martyred so that Christ would be made known amongst the northern Indian tribes. Others, such as the Spanish Franciscans, set up missions all along the California coast, teaching the coastal Indian tribes they encountered about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Different religious orders spread the faith across the continental United States and oftentimes at great personal cost. The divine mandate to teach and baptize all nations burned zealously in the hearts of these missionaries.
Many Rhode Islanders have been brought up in the Catholic faith or have been exposed to the Catholic culture through feasts, processions and celebrations. We have taken for granted the Catholic traditions that have been passed down to us through our families. The State of Rhode Island is home to various European and South American cultures that have brought their practice of the Catholic Faith with them to this country. National and Mission Churches were founded to support the immigrants who arrived on the shores of Rhode Island to provide for their material and spiritual well-being.
If it was not for those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to spread the Gospel for the love of God, we would still be worshiping false gods and idols. Today the harvest is plentiful, but there are too few who labor for it. Pray to the Lord to send laborers with that same missionary zeal for the salvation of souls as our predecessors had for this great nation.