August 8 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mission trips for high school teens are offered at many parishes throughout our Diocese as a way for teens to put their faith in action and grow in their relationship with Jesus. Just this past July, 47 teens and 10 adult chaperones from Our Lady of Mercy went on a Catholic Heart Mission Trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN doing various projects helping the poor. From what I hear, they had an amazing experience!
I had that same kind of experience in 2014 when I was pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Naperville. Myself and two other adult chaperones accompanied six teens from St. Thomas on a mission trip to Duchity in Haiti. Haiti is an extremely impoverished country, but to see it in person is soul wrenching! St. Thomas the Apostle parish has had a “twinning” relationship for 21 years with the Catholic Church in Duchity staffed by the Holy Cross Fathers. The parish operates a medical clinic and school. It was there that I met Ertha Papilion, who founded and operates an orphanage and school several miles from Duchity. When our group visited, the children were so excited and happy to see us. We toured the orphanage and school and spent hours playing with the children. The smiles and joy on their faces are etched in my memory.
In today’s bulletin you will see an announcement that Ertha is coming to Our Lady of Mercy to make an appeal for her orphanage and school. I ask that you be as generous as possible in making a donation to keep her orphanage and school viable. The article shows a picture of Ertha and me. Let me share with you an picture of the children at the orphanage along with St. Thomas teens and the adult chaperones.
Have a great week!