BECOME A MISSIONARY
A Simple House is a Catholic inner-city mission that serves the homeless and poor families in Washington, DC and Kansas City, MO. Missionaries build real, deep friendships with the poor while meeting their material and spiritual needs. We live a simple Catholic religious life. Each missionary attends daily Mass, prays morning and evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, and makes time for personal prayer and scripture study. Missionaries make an initial 10 month commitment and do not fund-raise a salary.
Want an Application?
Submit a form and a Simple House missionary will get back to you.
What will you do as a Catholic missionary?
There is a culture of collegiality and openness at Simple House. Small groups of missionaries manage a monthly budget of a few thousand dollars. Everyone decides how the money will be used to serve the poor, and new ideas are welcome. Our work is an experiment in Christianity.
Liturgy of the Hours and Mass are part of the missionary’s daily responsibilities. Spiritual classics are read throughout the year, and missionaries are encouraged to pray and read Scripture every morning.
A Simple House does not have wi-fi or television. Other forms of distraction are limited. In 2024, we are instituting a phone detox by providing flip-phones! Missionaries live in an environment that allows them to concentrate on prayer, Scripture, and fellowship.
Know the Poor:
The core of the ministry is love and friendship. Missionaries build real friendships with the poor.
Witness to Radical Solidarity:
Missionaries do not just feed the poor. They eat with the poor. Missionaries do not visit poor neighborhoods. They live in poor neighborhoods. Missionaries do not talk to the poor from behind a desk. They visit the poor in their living rooms and homeless camps.
Witness to Radical Subsidiarity:
There is no official handbook or recipe for serving the poor. Each person is met, listened to, and loved. Missionaries accompany the poor through their problems and plans without reading their own agendas into the lives of the poor. The goal is to make the work of the poor easier and more successful.
Revival and Retreat:
Missionaries from all mission bases gather for training at the annual revival each August. In February, all missionaries convene for a silent retreat at a Benedictine monastery.
Teach Pastoral Care:
Seminarians are paired with Simple House missionaries to participate in pastoral care of the poor. In some cases, seminarians are sent to live at A Simple House for a missionary immersion. Theological College, the Capuchin Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Dominicans, Conception Seminary College, and St. John Vianney Seminary have relationships with A Simple House. You will shape the next generation of pastors.
How will you build the Kingdom?
Through Works of Mercy:
People’s real needs will be met, and their situations will be improved. You will help carry the burdens of the poor.
Even when works fail, love never fails. As all things temporal pass away, love will never pass away. Your missionary witness is never wasted if you love.
Through the Gospel:
The Good News will be brought to the poorest of the poor. The body of Christ thrives when the Church is alive in the margins. Salvation is the goal of everything we do. The essence of missionary work is to move people closer to Christ. This work takes many forms, and a deep prayer life is necessary for its discernment.
How will you be changed as a missionary?
Being a missionary at A Simple House is like being pushed out of a nest. You will grow in faith and hope, or you won’t make it. You will be challenged to completely trust in God. Our motto is "to wonderfully and radically fall on the cross of Christ for grace and support."
You will develop a better understanding of theology, pastoral care, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. A Simple House is a place for complete formation and vocational discernment. Many past volunteers have entered priesthood or religious life.
You will read and engage in discussions of the great spiritual classics. Missionaries are challenged to engage their minds as well as their hearts.
You will have every help and opportunity to develop the spiritual life you desire. Ultimately, you must decide how closely you wish to follow Christ.