During Spring Break 2011 a group of students, a staff member from St. Mary’s and a priest went on a mission trip to Honduras. The group worked with the Missioners of Christ, ministering to the people in the mountains. The Catholics in these villages are visited by a priest only once a year at the most. In the absence of a priest, delegates (ministers and leaders) of the village preside over the Liturgy of the Word every Sunday. Realizing the need for more catechesis and contact with the people, a local priest had the idea to send out missionaries to some of the villages in his parish on a monthly basis. And that is how these mission trips started. The trip was amazing and life changing for everyone who went. The following are reflections from two of the group members, Packer Stevenson, a former student, and Fr. Charlie Garza, an Aggie Priest.
A challenge to take action by Packer StevensonIf you are interested in going on a mission trip during Spring Break 2012, there are two options:
When I went to Honduras, I experienced a simplicity and a wholeness in the people that I did not yet see in the States. Yes, these people lived without many material things, but they were so in touch with what mattered--their faith, their families and their relationships. They were so open to human interaction, so willing to serve and so ready to make themselves available to others. Naturally, that is what our group got caught up in doing. We were serving, reaching out, coming out of our comfort zones. It was an entirely new culture, climate, diet and lifestyle for many of us, but I don't think we have ever felt so whole before in our lives. There was a pervasive peace and joy in our group, and it challenged many perceptions we had previously about what can truly fulfill us.
In Honduras we gave what we could and left the results up to the Lord, and there was a profound peace from that exchange. What the trip has taught me is this: there is a great need all over the world, spiritually in the States & Europe and materially most everywhere else. Now, instead of rationalizing away my capacity to fulfill those needs, I challenge myself to do something about it. It's easy to let someone else take care of it, but I know from my experience in Honduras that if I truly desire to know the joy and happiness I was created for, then that means me taking action for justice and trusting in the Lord.
Continue Reading for Fr. Charlie Garza’s account.
- Where: New Orleans, LA
- What: Hurricane relief and other service projects
- Contact: Jessica Huff
- Where: Comayagua, Honduras
- What: Evangelization work with the Missioners of Christ
- Applications are available at the front desk of St. Mary's
- Interviews run through October 7
- Contact: Carolyn Leatherman