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Culture Shock
Cincinnati Teens Experience Evangelization in their Own Backyard

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St. Leo's parish in Cincinnati was the site of a one-day Regnum Christi mission.

Following is a testimony from one of our Regnum Christi consecrated women, Jacquie Lustig, about the recent Ohio parish mission sponsored by the youth clubs in Greater Cincinnati.

Have you ever experienced culture shock? Perhaps you have traveled to Europe, or counted out foreign currency at an airport ATM? Maybe you studied abroad and picked up an English accent in a London café?

But have you ever had such an experience in your own backyard? If you are a Cincinnati teenager who participated in our latest mission, the answer is yes. This past October, twenty teens from all over the Ohio Valley gathered for a day of service at St. Leo’s Burundian/Guatamalen refugee parish in Cincinnati. They found they could experience the service of a mission trip, and evangelize right in their hometown.

These missionaries found themselves “elbow-deep” in potting soil as they helped forty-plus kids “grow” their faith during the Sunday children’s liturgy, helping them to pot flowers that the parish will grow indoors to use for their Christmas liturgy.

The morning session ended with a rousing chorus of “Razzle Dazzle Little Star,” a song the children are preparing for their Christmas play, along with a few goodbye hugs as the kids scurried off to their pews. Mass held some particular surprises for the unsuspecting missionaries, including the playing of Burundian bongos and traditional ethnic music! Afterwards, some of the missionaries entertained (and were entertained) with a spontaneous parking-lot soccer game, while others helped with various preparations for the afternoon. After a time of prayer for the parish and for the children, the afternoon consisted of various outdoor projects and helping to finish the parish’s annual mailing.

At the end of the mission, the people of the parish urged the missionaries to come back as soon as possible. Children’s liturgy director Debra Reyland vocalized these sentiments with a spontaneous statement: “Don’t even wait for the whole group of you to get back together. Come any Sunday you can!”

After such a moving experience of serving an underprivileged parish, many missionaries expressed a desire to return again. Good thing, because another Mission Day is scheduled for January 18, 2014!



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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