An Introduction to the Mission
“Terra Sancta” is Latin for “holy land” or “holy ground”. Like St. Francis, we seek to awaken people to the presence of God and the holiness around them. St. Francis began his Order in a little run-down church called the “Porziuncula” or in English, the “little portion.” It was truly a little plot of holy ground. Our “Porziuncula”, or little portion of holy ground, is the 2 acres of property formally known as St. Joseph Church in Pontiac.
These grounds contain St. Joseph Chapel, The Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and outdoor Stations of the Cross. History shows that this little plot of land has a rich legacy of Franciscan spirituality, pilgrimage, and even miracles attributed to the Blessed Mother.
We believe God is calling us to restore the beauty, dignity, and reverence fitting this holy site. Just as the Franciscans have been the custodians of the Holy Places in the Holy Land for the Catholic Church for the last 800 years, we believe we are being called to be the guardians of this little oasis of holy land, this Terra Sancta, in Pontiac.
The Mission: In Brief
Sharing of the Franciscan charism, renewing devotion to Mary, bridge-building to the Holy Land through pilgrimage and solidarity, charity and evangelistic outreach to the local community, and seeking the lost and marginal to invite them and all into a saving relationship with Jesus as Lord and into the communion of the Catholic Church are what constitute the core of our mission at Terra Sancta.