Saturday, November 21, 2009
Jamaica mission trip will live on in my heart forever - Nov . 22, 2009
Late last Saturday night I returned from Blessed Sacrament with the adult missionaries. It was an experience that will live on in my heart forever. Never have I seen the utter enormity of human suffering. Young people with contorted bodies suffering from Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, and other diseases. These are the “least of my brothers and sisters” that Jesus refers to in Matthew 25. Yet I also saw in the presence of the divine. Christ shines through the broken people of our world. As the week progressed I was able to adapt to the challenges of the week. The children are needy and like to be picked up and held. Some of them are very strong and can tax one’s back. One wonderful outcome of the week was the bond that was created among our group. We shared a desire to be of service. We were of one mind and one heart as we prayed and worked together. At night we sang, played “Catch Phrase”, processed the events of the day, and shared our experiences. Each one of us brought our talents in things like dental hygiene, nursing, painting, and yes even singing. We reached out to the caregivers who face immense challenges every day. Foot massages and pedicures, brought healing balm to these incredible people who live out the Gospel on a daily basis.
One added dimension of the week was a power point presentation given by Father Leo Shea, a Maryknoll father working in the Montego Bay Diocese. He shared the history and culture of the Jamaican people. Only 3% of Jamaica is Roman Catholic and yet the best schools in the country are indeed Catholic. We were amazed at the ease with which the caregivers prayed. They would quote long passages of the Bible by heart. Hymns were sung with great vigor and grace. St. Francis prays that it is “in giving that we receive.” Indeed our adult mission group received much from our time at Mustard Seed. It was due to the generosity and prayers of this parish that this trip was possible, so thank you to one and all. In the coming weeks Trish Cirillo, Mary Lally, Mary Nugent, Ann Molak, Ann Marie Thompson, and Doug Johnston will be sharing their experiences with the parish community.