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Mary Jane Trinkus - The Second Mile Woman

Mary Jane was introduced by friend and fellow missioner Paula Radel for the 2015 St. Francis Xavier Award at the annual Faith Promise Dinner on November 6

Tom and Paula Radel (left) with Mary Jane and Vic Trinkus

St. Francis Xavier was a model for missionaries.  So absolute a master was he of his passions that he knew not what it was to have the least notion of anger or impatience and in all events was perfectly resigned to the Divine Will, from whence proceeded an admirable tranquility of soul and a perpetual cheerfulness. He rejoiced in afflictions and sufferings and talked of the sweetness of sharing the Cross of Christ.    

Remembering this great saint, the patron of missionaries, we gather tonight to recognize one of our own.  This person has indeed embraced her own suffering and afflictions and has dedicated her life to helping those in need. 

We have all witnessed the public displays of this work – leading Formation discussions, working in the storeroom, speaking at parishes, working as a nurse, assuming leadership roles on numerous trips around the world.  In fact, since her first trip to Bolivia in search of adventure in 1996, she has been part of some 30-mission teams to three continents. 

But what sets her apart is the work she does behind the scenes.  She has opened her home to visiting missionaries. She has spent countless hours on the computer writing grant proposals for various projects.  She has coordinated the formation of a 501-C3 not for profit, which extends the missionary work in areas of feeding programs, educational programs, religious formation programs, disaster relief, and so much more.    

In addition, we learned early on that on mission trips you may work as hard as she does, but you will never outwork her.  From the time she opens her eyes in the morning until she goes to bed at night, she is thinking of how she can help others.  So often we have seen her stop back at the hospital late at night to check on a patient.  

Nurtured in a large Catholic family, she is familiar with rolling up her sleeves and pitching in, no matter what the task. Her love of family extends to all she meets. You feel instantly added to her list of loved ones. She is a friend for life. Even in her own personal times of trials she never abandons her concern for others. 

When I think of my dear friend, I am reminded of the passage from St. Matthew: “If anyone requires you to go one mile, go two miles with him.”

Paula Radel