“Thank you God, Thank you!”
Another incredible mission trip to Haiti is in the books for the Our Lady of Mercy High School Youth Group! We stayed at the St. John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization in Madain, Haiti and while there we ministered to the local and surrounding communities. We were blessed with the opportunity for daily morning Holy Hour and Daily Mass. We made numerous home visits to families in the local village, went into the streets of surrounding towns and brought food and water to the homeless, sick, and marginalized. Among some of our most powerful experiences was getting to visit an orphanage in the Haitian mountains which is run by Carmelite Sisters. The impact that the children made on us is forever imprinted in our hearts — their joy, their smiles and laughter, and most of all the love and acceptance of us they radiated.
To prepare for this trip we dove into Pope Frances’ Apostolic Exhortation Joy of the Gospel. This piece of literature is a call to mission for people in all states of life, in all countries and places. In Haiti we learned how to love people while stripped of the masks material possessions provide, and now we are able to come back into our own community and have a vigor to keep that missionary spirit alive.
“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security…If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life. More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: ‘Give them something to eat.’”
We want to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated items, talents, and prayers. Your donations were delivered and your prayers felt by all. We want to thank you, our Mercy community, for your encouragement, and last but not least, we want the thank Fr. Cleo Milano for his continued support and for believing with us in the importance of missionary outreach.
We are already looking forward to our next Trip!
Amelia Gallagher and the 2018 Haiti Mission Team