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Our 2014 Mission Trip location was Minneapolis.
2014 Trip Blog
Submitted 7/30/14: Here are the most recent photos from the mission trip!
Submitted 7/29/14: Greetings from your 2014 mission trip seniors! We arrived in Minneapolis Sunday at 4 o’clock. After a brief orientation, we went into community time also known as Club. This is a time where the whole community gathers together to bond for the first time. We continued to get to know each other through church group. Church time is an experience where the group as a whole shares their daily spiritual experiences. Last night we each received a hearthstone and a miniature representation of a saint. Each heart stone contained a random spiritual aspect that pertained to our lives. We are challenged to look deep within ourselves to reflect on God’s individual journey he has in store for us.
This morning a group of dedicated individuals went on a run too early in the morning, but it was fun. After breakfast, we each learned our work groups for the week: the Windchills, Vikings, Timberwolves, and Twins. The Windchills left on their journey to help out an organization known as Matter. It is a warehouse that collects and organizes medical supplies to be shipped internationally. The Vikings went to serve Youth Enterprises. They are an organization that employs inner-city kids to teach them life skills, everything from faith to finances. We packed boxes of t-shirts that they made and sorted them. Timberwolves went to Hospitality House, where children in grades K-12 attend school and learn fundamental skills. The kids in the group spent their day interacting and building relationships with the young children of the organization. The Twins went to help a kindergarten teacher organize and clean her room. The school’s name was Hope Academy, a private school mostly run off of donations. Hope Academy is a school set up for students who are impoverished and mainly non-Christian. The school loves to introduce the young men and women to the idea of Jesus and his teachings.
The theme for today was “reach out.” We incorporated this theme through both club and our church group. Today during club we discussed the verses Matthew 20:29-34. Jordan, one of the Youthwork leaders, led us in a discussion about the passage. Next the seniors led church group. As leaders, we planned activities that incorporated the theme “reach out.” Even though it is not always easy to reach out to people we are not familiar with, we learned it is a much more fulfilling and necessary experience to live a life like Jesus.
More 7/28/14: Continue to pray for the young people on the mission trip to Minneapolis. Here’s another update:
From the road near Black River Falls, WI. Forty one missionaries left St. Pius at 10 a.m. on 7/26. Thirty-three high school youth and eight chaperones from St. Simon, St. Pius and St. Matthew are bound to serve our brothers and sisters in Minneapolis. Our youth are teaching us the meaning of “Connected in Spirit.” Our Saturday trip started with the Eucharist with our family and friends led by Father Jim Farrell. Fr. Jim urged us to be the hands and feet of Christ as we served other children of God. He also expressed his hope that we would spend time talking and listening to God during our week of service. Thank you for your wise words Father. Later in the day we picnicked in Central Illinois with delicious fare from George’s Neighborhood in Indy. We thank the George family for nine years of mission trip road meals…a taste of home on the road! We arrived in Madison, Wisconsin, around 7. We were tired but energized by a day filled with making new North Deanery friends as we rotated through four vans during the day. We were greeted by the youth minister at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madison. The St. Thomas community opened their church house to us for the night. After dinner in a local food court we ended our night with prayer as a group in the chapel at St. Thomas. Five of our young missionaries, Daniel Burger, Tim Good, Ethan Manuszak, John Woolridge, and Brian Doyle, led us in song and prayer. Once again they Connected Us and helped us to reflect on the ways God was calling us each to serve this week. Everyone hit the sack between 10:30 and 12:00.
Wake up this morning was early for chaperones. Youth were rousted by 6:45. We began loading/cramming vans full of luggage at 7. We got it all in again. At 8 we attended an amazing liturgy with Fr. Bart and the people of St. Thomas. We were not only welcomed but celebrated along with the rest of the St. Thomas community as members of the universal church. Father Bart’s homily focused each congregant on their purpose and specifically on our mission trip purpose and how our trip unified all of us. Inspiring! After Communion he declared all the Indiana missionaries their BMTFF (best mission trip friends forever) as he and the congregation gave us a blessing and sent us on our way. We are now on the road about 75 miles from our mission site in Minneapolis. We are connected and ready to serve. God is truly good!
7/28/14: From Our Youth Mission Trip: Amazing Mass. Like it was designed for us. Homily references to us. Blessing after Communion. Pictures with Fr. Bart. Amazing. Plus Aaron Thomas from NCYC is their music director. Off to MN.