"While we are still new members of MHSF, our time in the Apostolate can be described in three words: 1) Called 2) Guided 3) Personal.
Called - Mel and I felt the Lord was calling us to move to Lincoln away from the close community we had in Kansas City. By the Holy Spirit's guidance, we were lead to Chance, Lora and the MSHF Apostolate. This answered many of our prayers and fulfilled our hope when coming to Lincoln.
Guided - Discerning and defining our charisms with a community of couples has helped direct our will to the particular mission God has for Mel and I. We've also found Fr. Holdren's spiritual direction for the apostolate to be particularly helpful in praying about how God wants to use this mission to sanctify family life and to effectively share His love with those around us.
Personal - The witness of the Apostolate couples has personalized the mission of the Family in today's society. Talking with the other men and women in the group and how they want to use their charisms has inspired us to use our gifts within our family, those around us, and beyond. Growing with the community couples in life's challenges and joys elevates our hearts to Jesus."
JIMMY & MEL O'KEEFFE
"Being apart of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in the Family apostolate has truly opened my heart to finding and seeing God in ways I never could’ve imagined. Discerning my God-given charisms was just the start to many exciting new adventures in my life. Through discussing and praying through different charisms with the group and our spiritual director I opened gifts God had given me that I never knew existed!
Being involved with a group that supports, encourages, and uplifts you in such a powerful way has helped me to become more fearless when sharing my faith and charisms with other people. MHSF had helped me to realize just how powerful the Holy Spirit is working in every second of my life!"
"The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in the Family apostolate has allowed me to come into a deeper awareness and encounter with the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. This apostolate has helped me to recognize how the Holy Spirit “speaks” to me and leads me to the gifts he has given me. One of the gifts I have discovered is Evangelism.
This is something I wrestled with for quite some time until I made a real act of surrender and took a step in faith to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and start an evangelization initiative at our parish. Although we are very much in the beginning stages of this initiative, the Holy Spirit has already shown tremendous fruit in the response of many parishioners’ excitement and enthusiasm to be a part of a concerted effort to evangelize within our community."
"I grew up in the Catholic Faith and always heard about the Holy Spirit in high school, but never quite knew what His role was in my life. Ironically, my first encounter with our Lord - my first "yes" to him was at a protestant weekend retreat for high school athletes 'Fellowship of Christian Athletes'. The pastor was praying to the Holy Spirit and asked us to come to the front of the auditorium if we were ready to give our lives to Christ. And without hesitation I got up and went to the front - a moment I will never forget. The unfortunate thing was that there was no group or ministry established for me back in my small farm town to cultivate that "yes".
Fast forward a few years and a few poor decisions later, I found myself at college doing "typical" college things - engaging in the party culture, not really practicing my faith or wanting anything to do with it. A few semesters into my collegiate career, I came across a Catholic group on campus and decided to give it a try. Before I knew it, I was attending a regular bible study, being mentored and signing up for a national conference with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. It was again, at a large conference where I encountered our Lord in a deep and meaningful way primarily through Adoration and the evangelical speakers. This time, there was something for me to go back to on campus, a space and place for me to grow and develop my relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There was another invitation to go deeper in my relationship with Christ and follow Him - through being a FOCUS Missionary. I immediately responded with a "yes" and served him for three years. It was during this time as a missionary that I had many deep encounters with the Holy Spirit through impact bootcamps, spiritual direction and personal prayer.
After my time with FOCUS, I moved back to Nebraska and reconnected with my, now, wife Megan. Our dating relationship and engagement was steeped in prayer. Looking back, the Holy Spirit was silently and gently guiding us toward one another and toward Him - together. Both Megan and I were involved with our Newman Centers and were seeking Christ and His Church whole-heartedly. It was after our wedding where things got hard - where our Newman Centers didn't really "fit" us any more and we hadn't quite found our landing place. We were seeking a place where we could take our relationship with the Holy Spirit and with each other to the next level.
After having heard of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in the Family (MHSF) starting up in Lincoln, I knew right away that it was our next 'home'. The community, formation, prayer, and mission were all things we had desired from early in our engagement and first years of marriage - but hadn't felt quite settled. After having discerned my charisms (and continually doing so) I have found a deeper meaning to my life on earth; in the work place, at home and in the greater Church. Looking back from 2002 to today I am grateful for Jesus' slow, constant, unwavering hand guiding me to this very moment of self discovery and awareness that allows me the freedom to serve, give and respond with continual "yes-es". I am convinced that God has called the members of MHSF at this specific point in time for a very specific reason. His plans will continue to unfold and I truly look forward to the next 15 years to be able to look back with great gratitude and awe at what His Divine Hand has done in my personal life and in those around me."
"My husband Kyle has had a huge role in my conversion and growth in my spiritual life. Before we got married we were invited into an amazing bible study where we met some members of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in the Family. They continued to help me see the beauty of the sacrament of marriage before we said our vows. A few months into our marriage, I prayed a novena to St. Therese. It was the rose novena and I asked her to intercede that God would show us what Kyle's and my mission is on earth. Only three days into the novena, I was doing a holy hour at North American Martyrs church. Toward the end of my holy hour I decided to pray in front of the Holy Family; when I looked up, there was one single rose staring me in the face and I immediately felt an enormous amount of peace, and I continued to see roses throughout the rest of the novena. This was right as we joined the MHSF and I knew the Holy Spirit was showing me this group was going to help us live out our mission on earth. Our mission was to be a Holy Family and witnesses to the beauty, joy, and love Christ is through our marriage.
The MHSF has helped me grow immensely in my relationship with the Holy Spirit. I have learned to be open and receptive to the gifts given to me and to not be afraid to say "yes" and utilize these gifts. I have learned what "we are one body with many parts" truly means in the Church. God has given us all different spiritual gifts so we can all build up the kingdom in different ways. After small group discussion and group spiritual direction at each meeting I feel filled and inspired to go forth and bring Jesus to the world through my charisms and love. Since joining this group, the Holy Spirit has impacted me in ways I could not have imagined and allowed me to truly understand the power He exults. The support, prayer, commitment, and love these couples bring to this group has truly impacted Kyle and I. I am forever grateful God has brought us to this apostolate and for the impact each member has made in my life.
Kyle and I desire sainthood more than ever and feel like it is not as far of a reach."