Posted in Culture, Mission

Transitions: Feeling like an alien

A friend of mine sent an article from the Irish Times entitled: “The returned missionaries: ‘I’m more African than I am Irish.’”The article describes the difficult transitions encountered by Roman Catholic missionaries who have lived most of their lives in other cultures and who now are returning to Ireland to integrate back into the culture they grew up in but which feels like an alien land to them.

I’ll admit I quickly scanned the article, but even so, I still found myself able to relate to some of the transition experiences they describe. Although I have not had to move to extremely different cultures in other countries, diverse “cultures” exist wherever people live together and develop patterns, traditions, and so on. In moving as many times as I have, I see cultural diversity even within the Canadian context and certainly between church and society.

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