“The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature.”
Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity (2)
“These people have changed my life and I will never forget them.“ These words referring to a missionary journey did not come from one of the many dedicated priests, religious and laity who spend years in the mission fields they came from Collin Horner a student from Bishop Dunne High School, one of 40 students who spent ten days on a missionary trip to Honduras in June.
Collin’s thoughts were almost universal in the letters I received from this group of young missionaries telling of their encounters…not so much of how they helped people in Honduras but of how their lives were changed by their experience.
What they learned is that the greatest gift we have to give is ourselves and that it is in giving of ourselves that we receive. They are fortunate that they have learned this truth early in life. For many it is learned much later in life or never at all.
What these students accomplished on their journey is not nearly as important as their presence, their willingness to travel to a different culture, not to make them like us, but to help them to achieve their own goals.
Four high schools participated this year; Bishop Dunne, Bishop Lynch, Ursuline and John Paul II. The 40 students were accompanied by 20 chaperones.
This year’s trip was the eleventh of the current series, but they date back to the 1960s when the first groups went to the Valle de Mezquital in Mexico. Later, others went to Linares, Mexico, the mother diocese of the Church of Texas.
Becca Knott, an Ursuline Academy student, pretty well summed up the feelings of those who made this missionary journey: “It truly was a life-changing experience. Because of the work I did, the culture I embraced, the people I came to love, I will never be the same.”