Missions of Peace Stories
A Few of the hundreds of students who went on Missions of Peace mission trips share their experiences.
Jesus said that we should pray in secret so that our Father who is in Heaven will see in secret. The North Dakota mission takes us to the hidden land of the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation (home of the Chippewa.) We bring God’s love in small ways (in honor of our patron St. Thérése of Lisieux) to God’s children who are often forgotten in this secluded land that they call home. We served various ways from painting and cleaning to door-to-door and prison ministry. Whether serving the youth or visiting the elderly, we come with hearts filled with love to do the things of God and make His love known.
Fourteen students and Father Dave Morrier went to Gallup NM over spring break. We had four small groups that went to various sites for the week. One group worked with the Missionaries of Charity to serve homeless, mostly alcoholic men. Another group was at St. Francis Elementary School tutoring students and helping teachers. A third group was at Gallup Catholic High School and spent the week teaching the students about the sacrament of reconciliation. While the last group remained on the site. We stayed with the Little Sisters of the Poor to spend time with the elderly Navajo and Hispanic people in their residence center. It was a ministry of presence just being with people and letting God work through each of us differently.
Steubenville Mission consisted of reaching out and showing our love and care for the people of Steubenville. The team served by working at the two local soup kitchens, singing with mentally challenged elementary children, packing food bags for under privileged families, renovating the Grand Historical Movie Theater, and the Urban Mission’s Youth Center, helping out at the Samaritan House, visiting the Nursing Homes and group homes, and just ministering and evangelizing the people of Steubenville.
I remember I was sitting in the car waiting for a teammate to come out from the hospital and a lady walked past the car and stopped and I said hi. She returned the greeting cordially and went on to tell myself and my co-lead sitting next to me that her mother was in the hospital and wasn’t doing great. We instantly asked for her name. It was Thelma. The opportunity to meet the incredibly gracious people of New Orleans and pray for their needs was a great opportunity to serve people who may not have anyone to pray for them.
This spring break 2011, the Honduras Mission team was gifted with the opportunity to bring the sacraments to the poor of Honduras. These Hondurans who, due to the lack of priests, rarely get to participate in the sacramental life of the Church, were so grateful for our presence and most especially the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Traveling with 5 priests and 20 students, we were able to send teams (each with its own priest) into the jungle, along the coast, and to the orphanage in Trujillo. The diverse nature of the mission gave the missionaries a variety of experiences, and in the end, the entire team felt that they received more than they could ever give. We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord in such a radical way, and for the blessing of the friendships and fellowship that developed amongst the students on the team. In all these things, praise be to God.