In dioceses throughout the United States, families and young people
participated in Mission Youth Mercy Missions during Holy Week 2014.
took place in the localities of Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago Illinois;
Cincinnati, Ohio; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
New York City, New York; Phoenix, Arizona; and Sacramento, California.
is a sampling of the variety of activities by location:
year, mission activities in the Atlanta area took place at
several parishes during Holy Week. The commissioning Mass took place
during the vigil of Palm Sunday April 12 at Mary
Our Queen parish in Norcross. Other parishes involved included Holy
Cross, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Brendan’s, Holy Spirit Mission, St.
Joseph in Athens, St. Matthew in Winder and the Carmel
Retreat Center, among other locations. A combined 500 missionaries shared
their faith with others, participating in nursing home visits, feeding
the homeless, doing building and repair projects based on local
needs, and promoting prayer and confession.
|Braving the rain in Atlanta|
This year photographs were
submitted from each of the mission sites. To view, go
to the RC Atlanta photo page at the following link:
Among other activities, Holy Week missions in Chicago included
a five-mile cross walk from Holy Name Cathedral to St.
|Serving food in Chicago|
Alphonsus parish. Missionaries also helped to make beds, set up
the tables, and feed about 800 homeless at Pacific Garden
Mission homeless center in Chicago, reportedly the "oldest, continuously operating
rescue mission in the country."
In the Cincinnati area, the diocesan
newsletter, the Catholic Beat, promoted local mission events (Click here to read the article.)
Activities took place from April 16
through 19 in locations in inner city and downtown Cincinnati.
Missionaries worked at area charities, held a cross walk and
Stations of the Cross devotion, and supported the local tradition
of “Praying the Steps” at the cathedral. The commissioning Mass
took place Wednesday evening at Royalmont Academy in Mason.
of the activities can be found at the Cincinnati Holy
Week Mercy Missions Facebook
|Worshiping in Cincinnati|
page. Click here
see a Youtube video of the mission.
In Dallas, a group
of boys served Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish, and
40 families led an Easter carnival for children, then visited
residents at a Catholic nursing home. The entire group of
missionaries (boys, girls, and families) enjoyed a lunch break together
on Holy Saturday.
According to Regnum Christi consecrated woman Carrie O’Connor,
one of the most outstanding experiences during their local mission
was washing the feet of more 100 people who came
to the food pantry on Holy Thursday morning. Missionaries waited
near the food line, where 1,158 people received groceries. They
said to the people, "Today is Holy Thursday, the day
that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. May I
wash your feet as a sign of Christian service?"
openness was so humbling for all of us,” said Carrie.
“We had wonderful conversations with the people who were truly
grateful for this unexpected gesture. Almost all of our missionaries
had the courage to do this, which was very inspiring
The young women missionaries provided some testimonies about their
Jasmine said: “I didn’t know what to expect. It’s
encouraged me to put myself out there. No matter how
little it is, I can make a big impact on
people. I don’t know if the people will remember me,
but I will definitely remember them.”
Xochitl said: “I washed the
feet of a man who has calluses, and I felt
how hard they were compared to mine. These people we
were helping have been through so much…I have never come
in contact with people like this.”
Juanita said: “When I used
to see homeless people I would get scared, but now
I see God in them.”
Nathalie said: “Holy Week is special
because I get to walk with Christ every step of
the way. God’s love for me is greater than my
Carla said: “Coming into this week I was really excited,
waiting for the opportunity to get out of the ordinary
things and be a missionary again. Being with people who
love Christ so much makes me want to love Christ
more and be a better person.”
Emma said: “I’ve never been
on a mission before. I had an expectation in my
|Praying at abortion clinic in Dallas|
mind of what I would get out of it. I
didn’t get what I wanted, but what I needed. Meeting
people, hearing their stories, touched me a lot. It helped
me look at my relationship with Christ and what I
want in life.”
Daniela said: “This mission helped me to remember
that I can and I want to open my heart
up to God.”
Laura said: “I came here to get the
spirit going again…I’ve been discouraged at home because there’s not
a lot going on in the church. I got fired
Angelica said: “It helped me grow spiritually and in
discerning my vocation.”
Regnum Christi members in the Detroit metro area
held a Family Mission on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
Thursday activities included visiting Mendelson Nursing home in Waterford, Michigan,
and conducting a “Stations of the Cross” devotion with the
On Good Friday, missionaries witnessed the live Stations of the
Cross event at St. Vincent de Paul parish in Pontiac.
They also held an Easter petting zoo for parish families,
facilitated special reflection presentations for parish teens, and introduced the
Pilgrim Queen of the Family rosary program to parish families.
activities in Houston included more than 25 families, about 90
people in total. They supported St. Bart’s Parish in Katy,
Texas, and knocked on more than 550 doors on Thursday
and Holy Friday, inviting people to talks, catechesis, and confessions.
Holy Saturday, in a day full of “humility and charity,”
the missionaries served two groups of refugee children from Catholic
Charities at Hermann Park. They played with the children, helping
them to learn more about their faith and had a
lot of fun!
The Missions in New York City took
place in the Soho area, surrounding St Patrick Old Cathedral
(one of the oldest Churches in the city and the
Missionaries representing groups from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut,
and Pennsylvania began work on Monday of Holy Week. At
times there 200 missionaries in the Soho streets, an area
famous for art, restaurants, and shopping. About 100 young people
participated in the missions and had special activities, including a
|Live Stations in New York|
cross walk through Manhattan, living Stations of the Cross in
the streets of Soho with more than 500 people present,
and a “midnight run” in which missionaries helped to give
food and clothes to the homeless. On Saturday, they visited
Harlem to play games with the children there.
Legionary priests heard
confessions (at times with up to nine priests) at the
Old Cathedral. The consecrated women and Legionary brothers assisted with
youth mission activities, and the consecrated men helped to receive
visitors at the Old Cathedral parish.
Go to the following link
to read the missionaries’ blog, where they recorded the main
stories of each day: http://www.loveyourmission.org/2014HWMblog.htm.
Go to the following links
to see videos on Youtube:
at St. Patrick’s Church in downtown Philadelphia to promote an
upcoming Stations of the Cross devotion to people in Rittenhouse
Square. They celebrated the Mass of the Last Supper at
St. Patrick’s in the evening and then held an event
to supply food for homeless residents. On the morning of
Good Friday, missionaries prayed in front of a local Planned
Parenthood facility, and then held a crosswalk through the downtown
area collecting prayer intentions. They stayed to witness the Live
|On the bus in Philadelphia|
Stations event that they earlier had invited people to attend,
and then participated in the Good Friday service at St.
About 15 members of Challenge participated in the Holy Week
missions in the Phoenix area. Activities surrounded the local St.
Anne´s parish and “accomplished so much,” according to Regnum Christi
member Christina Campbell, one of the organizers.
Their accomplishments included:
51 boxes (11,016 meals) of MannaPack meals for the “Feed
My Starving Children” program http://www.fmsc.org/home.
-hosting a Stations of
the Cross service for children at St. Anne´s for hundreds
-making 12 fleece tie blankets for hospitalized children
for the Project Linus http://linusblankets.org/.
-assembling 43 boxes of
books, toys and games for hospitalized children for the Jared
Box Project http://www.thejaredbox.com/index.html.
- putting together 40 bag lunches
for homeless families for “Save the Family” http://savethefamily.org/.
dozens of boxes of food to needy families at the
St. Anne’s ministry “Friends of the Needy.”
-handing out dozens
of fliers with Mass and Confession times for Easter weekend
in the local neighborhood.
-helping clean and decorate the church
to prepare for Easter.
-visiting residents of Emeritus Senior Living
of Gilbert and handing out dozens of Easter Eggs that
Starting on Holy Thursday, 100 teenage missionaries participated in
the Holy Week Missions in Sacramento, California. The missionaries participated
in “street evangelization” and supported the National Shrine of Our
Lady of Guadalupe in downtown Sacramento. They led a four-hour
camp for about 100 kids
|Missionaries in Sacramento|
Congratulations to all
for this wonderful work!