Mission Trip

Mission Trip 2023 – July 9-15, 2023

News: The trip is now full, however please email Dave if you would like to be placed on the waiting list. Email DaveM@olmercy.com

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High School Teens are invited to attend our Mission Trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan on Sunday-Saturday, July 9-15, 2023.

This coming summer, the Our Lady of Mercy youth ministry will be traveling to MI to do service work for those in need. We will be attending Group work camp. Group is a nationally known Non-denominational Christian organization that helps teenagers realize the importance of service in their lives. Check out their website here: https://groupmissiontrips.com/mission-trips

Spending a week in Grand Rapids will remind you of why Michigan is called the Great Lake State. The city sits on the Grand River and is only 25 miles east of Lake Michigan. Home of the internationally renowned Art Prize, the community is rich in art and culture with sculptures and museums throughout the city. Grand Rapids offers a big city feeling with the warmth of a small town.

Even though it’s easy to see the beauty of Grand Rapids, the city did not survive the nation’s recession untouched. Living in one of the cities hit hardest by the economic problems, the people of Grand Rapids have struggled through failed industries and unemployment.

There is a shortage of affordable housing and in comparison, to the other areas in town, there is a lack of investment in the lower income neighborhoods.

You’ll be working throughout the city to do various home repairs projects for residents. At the Grand Rapids, MI Workcamp, your group will demonstrate Jesus’ love and compassion in tangible ways, serving real people in need while working on projects like…

– Building wheelchair ramps and handrails
– Weatherizing homes and trailers
– Reconstructing sagging porches
– Significant painting projects
– Interior and exterior carpentry
– Other home repair projects that the homeowner cannot otherwise complete

All high school age teens are eligible to attend the mission trip. Must be at least 14 years old OR entering the 9th grade in the fall of the same year as your trip. Graduated Seniors (Spring 2023) may also attend. College students (ages 18-20 who are already in college) may also attend as leaders for our group—only a limited amount of college students will be accepted. The cost for the trip is $650 per teen ($350 for 18-21 yr olds) but fundraising can reduce that amount greatly.

This trip will cost approximately $650.00 a person ($350 for college leaders). This amount includes not only the participant fee for the workcamp, but all of the other common costs like transportation, rooming, meals at the camp, the free day activity and other associated community costs.  The various fundraisers we hold throughout the year, such as Pie Sale, Poinsettia Sale, Mission Trip Weekend, Aurora Day of Service, Bake Sale and the Rummage Sale are for the purpose of lowering that cost for the teens.

The full cost ($650.00) of the trip will be expected from each student.  For each fundraiser worked, a TBD amount of money (Based on the profitability of the fundraiser) will be added to the individual’s trip account.  The overall goal is to provide enough opportunities for everyone to significantly reduce their out of pocket costs.

One of the most significant secondary benefits to participating in these fundraisers is the community building within the group that will be attending the mission trip together.  Thus, we would love to have everyone participate in all of the fundraising activities.  Unfortunately, we know that for various reasons, we have not been able to achieve that full participation.  With the past system, a lack of participation meant that a smaller group of people were working very hard for the benefit of the entire group.  As we all know, many hands make light work.  This approach to fundraising is intended to encourage a greater degree of participation in the overall fundraising effort.  Participation in individual fundraisers is NOT a requirement, but a choice to “add funds to the student’s account”.  Those that cannot or choose not to participate in fundraising will still be responsible for paying their portion of the overall mission trip costs, so the burden is shared equally by all participants.

With this policy, we ask that ALL participants pay an initial non-refundable deposit of $50.00 which will be credited to the students account. This amount will hold our spots with the work camp organization. You may check the balance on your account at anytime by contacting Dave in the youth ministry office. The final payment will be DUE after our last fundraising event.

Fundraiser List for 2022/2023

1. Pie Sale – October/November
2. Poinsettia Sale – December
3. Mission Trip 2nd Collection – Jan/Feb
4. Fish Dinners TBD – March/April
5. Aurora Day of Service – May
6. Bake Sale – Spring
7. Rummage Sale – June

We will send out an email before each fundraiser asking for volunteers and giving specific details. Teens/Parents will need to sign-up ASAP to get an open spot on the fundraiser.


Team Meeting: Sunday, May 21st from 6:30-8:30 pm. This is for all teens and adults attending the trip. We will handout trip shirts, take photos (for those who still need them), get to know each other, have fun, learn about our work teams and the jobs we will do!

FMSC event is Wednesday, June 28th from 7:00-8:45 pm. We will help as a team at this event to pack food for needy children throughout the world. All teens and adults going on the trip should attend. We will also sign-up for the vans on the trip.

DEADLINE TO SIGN-UP—ASAP! We will take teens as long as we have a spot–but hurry, because it fills fast!

There are 53 teen/college and 14 adult spots available for the trip. Spots are filled on a first come, first serve basis. However, if we have open spots after the deadline date, we will continue to take teen sign-ups. Once all spots are filled, we will start a wait list for any teens interested in attending.

The absolute DEADLINE to cancel a spot for the trip is Monday, May 1, 2023. Any cancellation after that date will require the teen (parent) pay the full amount due of the trip unless a replacement teen can be attained to fill that spot.

The non-refundable $50.00 deposit must be returned to the Youth Ministry Office located in the Parish Life Center (701 S. Eola Road, Aurora IL 60504) by December 15th! We accept cash or check. Please make checks payable to Our Lady of Mercy.

If a student raises over the $650.00 cost for the trip, that positive balance will be credited to a future trip or placed in the Mission Trip Scholarship/Grant fund. Funds can be transferred to siblings only. Please contact us if there are any questions or if there is a financial need—we want any and all teens to experience this great event!

All participants on the trip will be asked to go online and fill out the Group Workcamp information form. This link will be sent out to everyone after the holidays. In addition, the Diocese of Joliet requires a permission form for each teen attending. This will be sent to you in the spring along with packing/tool list and other important details.

Parents are invited to consider going on a trip as an adult leader! We will need 12 adults to make this trip happen. An adult leader needs to be at least 25 years of age and willing to drive to and from the work camp (rental mini-van), chaperone our teens at the camp and work as a team to make this the best experience possible for our teens.

If you are interested in learning more about this great opportunity please contact Dave in the youth ministry office at 331-707-5371 or e-mail at DaveM@olmercy.com.

Contact Us

Office of Family Faith Formation for Grades 6-12

Dave Miserendino |  Director

Karen Schwartz | Administrative Assistant