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My Mission Trip Experience

            Good morning my name is Pierre La Monica and I would like to share with you some of my experience on the parish mission trip this summer. For one week in July twenty high school students along with six adults from the parish participated in a variety of faith based mission and service opportunities. Some of us spent the week working here in the Archdiocese at the Youth Ministry sponsored "Work Week" along with over a hundred other students from throughout the Archdiocese. A group spent the week at the Nazareth Farm in West Virginia with other students from around the country, facilitating home repair and construction. Lastly a group spent the week with students from other parts of the county at Toppa Joppa, a Glenmary Mission in Tennessee, serving the local migrant population and participating in some construction. Each of these different mission sites was an opportunity to experience our Catholic faith through prayer, community and service in the context of shared experiences. Each of us experienced what it is to be a missionary through various forms of service. We learned something about different cultures and were exposed to the social justice teachings of our Faith. I would like to share with you some of my experience. I spent the week at Toppa Joppa in Tennessee. To be honest, at first I didn't think that going on the mission trip was the best idea. Waking up at 4 AM and getting in a van for 13 hours didn't seem too appealing to me. After driving for 13 hours we arrived at Toppa Joppa around 5 PM. After looking around for a bit it suddenly hit me that I would be living here for the next week. As we were heading inside, we saw other people who were inside as well. The first thing I thought was "These must be the parishes who were here last week and are getting ready to leave". After talking to some them it became apparent that we weren't the only group that was going to be staying here this week.

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