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Students Take Mission Trips During Spring Break
April 15th, 2013
While many students travelled out of town on Spring Break, several students from St. Pius X spent that week overseas or in the nation’s capital on mission trips. The department of Campus Ministry sponsors two spring break mission trips each year. This year, due to the overwhelming popularity of past trips, Campus Ministry was able to expand the program to include a domestic trip, allowing more students the opportunity to serve. Nearly 50 students traveled to Washington, DC, Jamaica and Nicaragua to assist in teaching, farming and building projects.
St. Pius X sent two mission teams to assist with separate Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) in Jamaica and Nicaragua. MSC cares for over 600 children in 14 communities throughout four nations. According to its web site, MSC strives to care for children with disabilities who have been abandoned, children with HIV/AIDS and teenagers who are pregnant and alone.
Sara Geiger, a faculty chaperone, said, “Being able to spend a week in a different country serving the residents of the Mustard Seed Communities with St. Pius students it such a rewarding, life changing experience. I love getting to work side by side the students and help push them through work days in heat unlike any they have experienced before. The joy that the students get from playing with such joyful children makes me smile the whole time we are in Jamaica. Also seeing the way that the students change when we get back to the USA is a remarkable journey that we all get to experience together.”
The team of 14 students and four chaperones in Jamaica assisted with several of the MSC apostolates in the country. In addition to assisting in the caretaking of children and adults with a range of physical and cognitive disabilities, they also worked with HIV-positive youth. The students helped dig irrigation ditches as well as cleared land so that the communities could begin to plant gardens.
In Nicaragua, the mission team spent mornings preparing the foundation for a new kitchen and dormitory building at Hogar Belen, which means “Bethlehem Place.” Other students spent time with Gayle Ohrenberger, Director of Campus Ministry, collecting biographical information for the children via the Sustain a Life project. Afternoons were spent caring for the children that lived in Hogar Belen, which included a trip to the beach.
A mission team traveled to the nation’s capital to assist in a spring break camp at the Washington Middle School for Girls (WMSG), a school founded on the premise of providing a holistic education for young girls living in under-served neighborhoods of Washington, DC. At the WMSG, administrators provide graduate support, ensuring their students are able to continue their education in high school and beyond. Thirteen students assisted 20-30 middle school students in faith, reading and math by devising fun games in each subject to help the students learn from a different perspective. In the afternoon, the team took on several other service projects with Catholic Charities and the L’Arche community, which houses people with intellectual disabilities.
Thank you to all the teams that served on this year's spring break mission trips.