What do world class business companies, flourishing service organizations, thriving schools, and the Catholic faith all have in common? Their stability? No. Their average yearly profit? Of course not. Their intellectual freedom? Not quite.
All of the aforementioned institutions are successful. To achieve such accomplishment, someone amongst them was given a vision that led them to believe in the potential of an idea. This vision eventually became their mission; this mission eventually became their vocation.
We see hints of these visions in the mission statements of successful institutions. For example, Microsoft’s is short and sweet: “Your potential, our passion.”
The Peace Corps’ is a bit longer: The Peace Corps’ mission has three simple goals: Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
The Catholic Church’s mission statement is one of the oldest and unchanged that the world has ever known. It is the Nicene Creed, which we have consistently announced every week during Mass since the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D.
As you can see, each mission statement puts vaguely into words what each group was willing to put into action. In our classrooms and in our lives, I would recommend that we discern what our personal mission statement is so that we too can put into words what our actions will be. Here is an example of one such mission statement that touched my heart. It was written by the late Mr. Tim Dwyer, a loyal servant to Christ and an active member in His Church. It reads:
Personal Mission Statement
(My Life’s Purpose)
- To live life to the fullest, never postponing joy.
- To love and be loved by my family–to be more than what is expected of me as a husband and father.
- To learn all that I can so as to reach my fullest potential in every aspect of my life.
- To leave a legacy–to be remembered as someone who made a positive difference in the world.
- To be a source of hope and encouragement to those who choose to follow me, and to those I choose to follow.
- To witness my gift of faith in all that I do think, and say.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!