By: Jori Bercier, Founder, SCIO
Magnificat Travel Mission Escort

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of our dedication to magnifying the Lord through pilgrimages and missions is what happens after the pilgrims or missionaries return. Often, journeys bear fruit through vocations, increased participation in parishes, greater works of charity or the formation of new organizations serving those in need. This post is part of a series on the fruits of pilgrimage.

Jori Bercier, a Magnificat Travel Pilgrimage Administrator, was inspired to serve others following a mission to Puerto Rico.

I have been on many missions, but each one is impactful in a new way. I am studying to be an architect, and that decision itself was prompted by my experience on mission nearly six years ago with the hopes of becoming an “architect missionary.”

When I was asked to participate in the mission to Puerto Rico with St. Thomas More High school, I knew even as the Mission Escort, I would be led to deeper conversion. The shocking part was in this particular conversion was the ability to see and accept the mercy and intimate love of God, in the form of my passion for architecture.

While on mission, missionaries cannot help but see that love of God in every missionary they work with, in the community built and in the faces of those they serve. Not only was this evident, but I was offered an architectural project to design and build a 5-acre garden, complete with a community pavilion, chapel and small community spaces within it that will help others experience God’s mercy and love. The construction will begin in 2019, and with the help of Magnificat Travel, missionaries will be able to complete some of the work on this project.

The Lord recognized my love for architecture and my desire to create community spaces that bring people closer to Him and to each other. Shortly after returning home, I realized the importance of community spaces just like these in every part of our world. The Holy Spirit nudged me to begin a non-profit, SCIO, meaning “to be conscious” of each person’s need for community and their own beauty, truth and goodness.