Who We Are

Our Mission and Style

Our hope is to form missionary disciples who encounter Jesus Christ in the poor, particularly the homeless and the lonely. A life of prayer, fellowship, and ministry of presence form us into men and women of encounter who know, love, and serve God in the poor. 

We are a ministry of presence, which means that we address our neighbor's poverty of loneliness by offering the gift of relationship, no strings attached. Multiple days a week, missionaries walk the streets of Boston and befriend those we meet along the way. As these friendships grow, we accompany our neighbors however we can — visiting them in the hospital, helping them prepare for winter, painting together in the Public Garden. But most of all, we listen. We listen and then carry our friends' stories in our hearts, trusting that God will do the deep work of healing and saving. 


In addition to our ministry of presence, missionaries regularly gather for spiritual retreats, workshops, and mission trips. Encounter has two missionary houses, one for men and one for women, for Catholics who desire to deepen their lives of prayer, community life, and service to the poor. 

Our Story

Encounter began in 2020 after Colleen McDonough and Monét Souza served with Christ in the City for a Summer of Service mission trip. Inspired by the authenticity of the missionaries' friendships with the poor, Colleen and Monét led street ministry in downtown Boston. 

Young adults from other like-minded groups across the Archdiocese eventually discovered the ministry being led by Colleen and Monét. So, what started with a handful of friends walking the city streets quickly coalesced into dozens of young Catholics gathering every month to find God in the homeless. 

Our missionaries are school teachers, scientists, architects, students, accountants, priests, and anything else you could imagine. Amid their daily lives, some serve with Encounter once a month; others serve once a week; and others are now part-time missionaries. Because our mission is to respond to Christ's universal invitation to love Him in the poor, Catholic Christians from every walk of life comprise our ministry. 

Our Leadership Team

Fr. Michael Zimmerman | Chaplain

Emily | President

Mark | Treasurer

Kelsey | Ongoing Formation