“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for.
We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. “
— Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Apply to Be a LAMP Missionary
LAMP Catholic Ministries offers Catholic adults between the ages of 24-45 the opportunity to deepen their faith through a 1-2 year (or even longer) committed time of service, community, and prayer. Our community includes single men, women, and married couples who are called by the Holy Spirit to share the love of Jesus with the materially poor.
LAMP is a canonical ministry of the Archdiocese of New York with 39 years of service. Our status in the Church guarantees we share in the channel of grace that flows from His Heart to His blessed poor.
Due to COVID, our main ministry is LAMPcafé, a food truck that goes out to different sites in the Bronx to share faith, food, and fellowship. We also have a homeless visitation outreach and Bible study fellowship ministry on 42nd Street in downtown Manhattan that has remained active throughout the pandemic. LAMP Missionaries contribute greatly to the individuals and communities around them by alleviating stresses and anxieties, filling a void with love and compassion, and serving as non-medical frontliners during a real time of need (COVID).
As a missionary, you will receive free room and board (men and women live separately), food and travel expenses are covered, you will have access to a vehicle for some ministries, a $300 monthly stipend, and medical insurance.
Take the Next Step
Reach out to our Admissions Counselor to apply to become a full time missionary.
“I find LAMP is authentic in their striving for holiness. I joined to be part of a community that is faithful to the Catholic Church and sensitive to the spiritual life of people. I am so taken aback by God’s sweet generosity here!”
Alexandra Henry, LAMP Missionary 2018-2020
“I love being in a Catholic community where folks are growing, serving and loving God and the materially poor together. It is a unique and powerful dynamic.”
Steve Patterson , LAMP Missionary 2012-2020
What is the application process like?
Admission to LAMP happens on a rolling basis throughout the year. The application process is as follows:
- Reach out through the form above or email email@example.com
- Schedule a 15 minute call with our Admissions Counselor
- Fill out & send your application
- Once we receive your professional and pastoral recommendation forms, we’ll schedule a Zoom call to meet virtually.
- Together we’ll continue to discern to see if joining LAMP is the right call for you.
What is your day-to-day life like for a LAMP Missionary?
Missionaries live in a common residence. They spend intentional time praying, serving the materially poor, and sharing meals together in order to grow in faith, hope, and love.
In the morning missionaries attend daily Mass. they pray the Liturgy of the Hours. After a break for breakfast and personal time, they head out to their ministry site for the day. There is free time, then evening prayer and holy hour before communal dinner.
What are the neighborhood and residences like?
LAMP Missionaries live in 2 former convents in the Bronx, in mixed neighborhoods, and men and women have separate residences. There is a chapel in each residence with the Blessed Sacrament, a fully stocked kitchen, living room, dining room, and laundry area as well as other rooms you can use to study or have quiet prayer time.
Each Missionary has their own furnished bedroom, shower stall, and toilet.
The residences are 1 to 2 blocks away from the train, with easy access to food markets, pharmacies, restaurants, and shopping centers.
What kind of people become LAMP Missionaries?
LAMP Missionaries come from diverse backgrounds, ages, and experiences, all united by a love of Christ, devotion to living out the Catholic faith, and a common call to LAMP. Some are postgrads, people taking a year off from work, religious, married, single, etc.
What’s the balance between prayer life and active ministry?
Prayer life is essential to our ministries, since it’s through God’s grace that we can have faith-filled encounters with the people we meet.
In the residences, there is a balance of morning and evening prayers and daily Mass with the ministries in between. Personal prayer outside of communal prayer is expected.
What does formation look like?
Missionaries are formed while they serve; when you come you will begin a 4 to 5 month process of formation. Each missionary meets with the Pastoral Co-Director once a week, to go over reading and audio material assigned each week as well as sharing experiences you have during ministry. At the end of this process, you will receive the LAMP Mission Crucifix and pray a prayer of commitment during Mass.
Do I choose my own ministries?
Ministries are determined by what is presently needed in addition to one’s gifts and interests. There is some flexibility in finding new ministry sites in which you’d like to exercise your gifts and skills, as long as the ministries are aligned to serving the spiritual needs of the poor. This is a discernment process between the Directors and the individual LAMP Missionary.
What’s the transportation like?
LAMP provides car transportation to some sites of service, to Monday meetings at the LAMP Center, and for food shopping. LAMP Missionaries also bike, or travel by bus or train.
What do you do in your off time?
Hiking, museums, Bronx Zoo, walking, running, biking around the neighborhood, going to Orchard beach, hanging out with friends, reading, baking, and watching movies.
Do you take vacation?
1st year Missionaries: about 8-10 days for Christmas vacation; 1 week in August, or at another mutually agreed upon time.
2nd yr Missionaries: 8 to 10 days for Christmas; 2 weeks in August, or at another mutually agreed upon time.
What should I pack?
Furniture, bedding, and linens are provided. You will need to bring your personal clothing, simple decor (like photos or small mementos), personal toiletries, prayer books and materials.
What’s the dress code of a Missionary?
Emphasis on simplicity and modesty. No jeans for ministry.