In the so-called Dark Ages, the Celtic missionaries brought Christianity to the northern countries. They even traveled to the New World, if some legends are true.
In the Middle Ages, Catholics traveled throughout Europe without any difficulties. St. Catherine of Siena could go to France and talk to the Pope. St. Dominic would travel and his disciples spread the Gospel from Italy to Spain to France and England. The Benedictines founded monasteries in every land as did the Cistercians.
In the Renaissance, the New World was discovered and missionaries came to what is now Mexico and the United States. Blessed Junipero Serra founded missions beyond borders.
Jesuit in the time of the Baroque period moved from France to what is now New York and Canada, bringing the Gospel to the Natives and setting up colleges and universities.
Missionaries flooded in from France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and even England.
Now, the Catholic world is slowly but surely, underneath the radar, being imprisoned. The missionary movement has been eviscerated by two things. The first is the lack of vocations and the lack of missionary zeal in the Church, caused from the end of fraternal love and the misguided heresies which claim all religions are the same and the Church should not missionize. But, the second reason is the hardening of immigration rules in countries across the world, including the US and Canada.
Priests and nuns are now subjected to the harshest rules the world has ever seen regarding religious freedom of movement and speech. Only two years ago, stricter rules in the EU stopped the ability of dioceses to sponsor men from Africa who already did not have families in the EU from going into seminaries. Four years ago, the special relationship among the Commonwealth nations with Great Britain ended because GB decided to go with EU regulations instead of the older Commonwealth heritage. For example, in Australia and New Zealand, the sheep shearer use to be able to come to GB and work for awhile and go back. This ended.
The Church is being constricted by certain countries which are not obviously persecuting the Church. Members of the Church already are being put into the prisons of their own countries.
Think about this. An immigration officer told me personally that a Baptist minister was refused entrance into an EU country 2013, simply because the minister was coming to preach.
These news items never hit the American press which is largely anti-Catholic and anti-religious. Countries which are starving for the type of expertise in catechesis which good America Catholics can give cannot hire or sponsor such laypersons for any extended stay because "jobs" must be given to EU persons first. In fact, look online and one can see that the EU rules for employment exclude Americans. American factories or businesses overseas can bring their people in but for only five years. Period.
The constricting of movement is on purpose. Those Americans and Europeans who do not care cannot see the big picture--like one of my friends in Australia said, rules are making America a prison and what is the largest, most truly universal institution in the world, the one which would be most effected by these rules? The one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.
I pray to Saint John De Brebeuf, Saint Isaac Jogues, and their companions. I pray to Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, to St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Francis Xavier. God, open the boundaries for those who desire to spread Your Holy Word across the world.
As to blogs, I believe this is the modern equivalent of missionary work. Right now, we can cross boundaries with the Good News of the Gospel, the Truth of the Catholic Church. Bloggers are like Medieval Catholics, spreading the Faith beyond boundaries.
We can do this now, for a little while.
Praise God for the evangelizers in the blogosphere.