Spirituality

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Then Jesus asked, "What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it?" It is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the sky nested in its branches. Luke 13 18:19

Spirituality and faith guide all of the work of Mustard Seed Communities from the international growth of the organization to the daily interactions between staff, caregivers, mission volunteers, and residents.

Each apostolate, or home, maintains spaces for the spiritual nourishment of residents. These include chapels, both modest and large, and adoration rooms for more private worship and reflection. 

On mission trips, volunteers are encouraged to take part in the religious traditions that are part of daily life at Mustard Seed Communities.

Behind our Logo

tiles, apostolate, MSC, logoThe Mustard Seed Communities logo was designed with the intent to reflect the four pillars at the heart of our organization.

In Simplicity, related to the vow of poverty, lies the individual’s inner journey with God as the wellspring of all he or she does. This virtue makes up the vertical pillar of the cross and originates from the poverty of spirit inherent in all God’s children and the simplicity of life: that through the Heart, what we love becomes what we think; that through the Head, what we think becomes what we say; that through the Mouth, what we say becomes what we do; and by the Hands what we do becomes what we love.

In Freedom, related to the vow of obedience, we either choose to follow God’s leading or not. This virtue makes up the horizontal pillar of the cross. Ultimately, because of our freedom, we are able to love and serve truly.

In Generosity, related to the virtue of chastity, we give of ourselves through our spirit, our gifts, and our time. This virtue makes up the left beam of the shelter. Through generosity we put to death the selfish ways of the flesh.

In Community we are best able to grow, learn, live, and love. This virtue makes up the right beam of the shelter. Through community we create a shelter for the Body of Christ – our brothers and sisters in greatest need, which is as often ourselves as others. In community, we are free to be ourselves, free to express need and to fulfill others’ needs. 

The open sunbeam at the bottom of the logo represents the Light of Christ, the Word made Flesh, which can be found in the shelter of the Lord.

The Story of the MSC Cross

The large crucifix above the sanctuary in Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel at Mustard Seed Communities headquarters, 1 Mahoe Drive in Jamaica, was designed by Msgr. Gregory Ramkissoon, the Founder of MSC. It was constructed by an Irish volunteer and a local Jamaican welder.

Its origin begins with an actual cross made of barbed wire now worn daily around the neck of Msgr. Gregory. This precious gift was given to him many years ago by a prisoner on death row whom he had befriended.

The transparent figure of Jesus represents the risen Christ and the barbed wire cross stands for the sufferings of the world. This unique work symbolizes the hope the resurrected Christ brings to those who may feel trapped by the barbed wires of fear, poverty, injustice, illness, or despair. It is particularly vivid when viewed as dawn breaks during early morning prayer in the Chapel. In the darkness, the cross is the only part that is visible, but as the light grows the body of Jesus becomes more apparent, reinforcing Christ as the light amidst the darkness of our lives and as Light of the world.

MSC Prayer

We are God’s Mustard Seeds
Oh Lord, we are your mustard seeds, Oh so small and simple! Help us to be generous In giving to others by community, Richly by our deeds.

We are your children, Living richly by our poverty. Help us to grow strongly, That in giving to others by our chastity – We may show unto others God’s perfect charity.

As the Lord foretold: Thy mustard seed, Is the smallest of seeds,
But through Thy grace, Thy seed will grow to the largest of plants, Giving shelter to all.

In this way, as You have proclaimed through Your Beloved Son, We are all your children,  but humble and simple souls; But through Thy tender and generous grace, We might grow to be the noblest and purest of souls, Spreading God's joy and giving love to all!

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