From architect to missionary for the poor

From architect to missionary for the poor

I am a missionary in the Philippines and I am turning 70 years old. What made me go from architect to missionary for the poor?


At the age of 23, I had just finished my degree in Architecture, I felt that there was another way to spend Christmas, which involved leaving behind the ordinary way of spending the holiday having a good time. We started a small missionary group and that Christmas we decided to visit gypsy families in the suburbs of Pozo del Tío Raimundo. We brought clothes, food and gifts to the families thinking that they would be much more in need than us.


The surprise was that when we arrived at that shanty town where there were such poor families with so many children, and we brought them what we collected, they did not keep it for themselves but called their neighbours to share it with them.


I realized that there is more joy in giving than in receiving and that in their poverty they showed us the richness of a heart that shares with those who are in need. It was the first Christmas that I spent on a mission and the beginning of my missionary life. I continued going on missions throughout the year. I met a child who could hardly speak because of the blows he had received and another who cried, saying that he did not want to live.



It made me question what sort of world are we living in and offering to future generations. What’s the point of building cities and houses if there is no love within families? I felt that God was calling me to bring his love to the poorest and neediest in our world. And to rebuild people from within, making them feel loved and able to share that love.


I started doing it part time on the weekends and discovered that the more involved I got, the happier I was. So it was easy to decide to do it full time throughout my life and with all that I am.


I have seen the mission as my way of living and existing for 50 years. I thank God for choosing the poorest and most vulnerable to awaken my vocation. God chose to become a poor, vulnerable Child and called us to become like children to bring the Good News of his salvation to everyone. What happened to me can surely happen to you one day. Don’t doubt it, there is more joy in giving than in receiving. If you want to be happy, try to make others happy, especially those who are most in need.


Dario Marote SEMD Philippines

Outdoor Mass blessing

missionary of the poor

Outdoor Mass


clwakeling2From architect to missionary for the poor