A group of relatively attractive young male protesters stood around reading Bible verses outside of the Planned Parenthood at Mott and Bleecker earlier today. (Our Robert Sietsema got a few photos.) Most of them are khaki-clad and youthful, a few held rosaries; many wore loafers or sneakers. All, minus the two priests with them, wore navy blue polo shirts bearing the name “Mission Corps.” Yet, the anti-abortion Nazarene World Mission, whose website URL is MissionCorps.org (and whose HQ is in Kansas City), had no idea what we were talking about when we called.
So, who are these men, and why are they so near — and yet so far — from Hollister? Also, does this mark some sort of new abortion-protest trend — recruiting handsome young guys to shame women?
We tracked them to a Catholic group called “Regnum Christi Mission Corps,” in Thornwood, New York, where the person who answered the phone admitted, after some questioning, that they do wear, or at least some of them have, blue shirts that say Mission Corps. We left our number for a callback. As we wait: Their website states that their current program involves 30 male and 35 female volunteers living and working in the U.S., and more abroad. It’s the youth affiliate of the broader Regnum Christi Movement, “a Catholic volunteer program of full-time missionary work for the Church. The Mission Corps is a vital support to the Regnum Christi Movement’s work to help the Church evangelize youth.”
Long-term programs involve a summer training course of 30 days in New York;
short-term programs include 4- to 6-week summer mission camps, including some near New York City, in which campers do things like play war, learn how to fight vice, and, perhaps, protest outside of Planned Parenthood.
What did you do with your summer?