Dan McNeil on mission in Novosibirsk, Siberia (1992-1995)

Today’s prayer comes from returned missioner Dan McNeil who served in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, Russia from 1992 to 1995.

“My prayer for the New Year is what I pray nearly each day: Lord, help me to be good soil; ready to receive you with a generous heart, to persevere and to bring you good fruit.”

While in Siberia, Dan worked with the social service organization Caritas constructing a home for children, processing and distributing humanitarian aid received from abroad, and supporting the work of volunteers to feed the homeless.

Local mission to North America as an essential part of the FMS program. Returned lay missioners seek ways to share the experience gained overseas with the Church and society.

When Dan came back from Russia, he worked in development for two nonprofit organizations that help people with mental illness to live as independently as possible – Guild Incorporated and The Guild of Catholic Women—before he founded his own organization in 1998.

The Peace Maker Foundation provides resources to schools to establish conflict resolution and non-violence programs for its students, and Dan currently serves as the executive director.

Because of his commitment to service and Franciscan ideals of simplicity, peacemaking, social justice, and respect for creation, Dan received the first Joseph Nangle, OFM, Lifelong Mission Award from FMS in 2009.