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Teenage Girl Organizes Mission for Alumni of Academy in Ireland
An alumnus of Woodlands Academy in Dublin wanted to share a different sort of school reunion with her old classmates.

Woodlands girl teaching rosary
A Woodlands Academy alumni leads the Rosary for some children.

May 7, 2009. Dublin, Ireland. At times, it may seem that teenagers are uniquely resistant to efforts to teach and form. But the case of 15-year-old Vahania Gomez proves that when a teenager has grasped an ideal and made it her own, she will bring it to life.

Originally from Hermosillo, Mexico, Vahania spent a year studying abroad at Woodlands Academy in Dublin, along with other girls from all over Mexico. For girls at OAK language academies such as Woodlands Academy, the year spent together is full of unforgettable experiences of faith, friendship, and family spirit.

This was the experience that Vahania wanted to recreate through a unique school reunion held in the town of Toluca, Mexico this past Holy Week: a mission at the service of the town and its parish.

A total of 33 teens from two grade levels joined in the mission, along with 4 Regnum Christi co-workers and 2 consecrated women who had worked with them during their year in Ireland.

In addition to the door-to-door missions and activities for children, the girls participated in the liturgies of Holy Week, sharing their fervor and joy with the local people.

Along the way, they also
communion dress
The missionaries pooled their money to buy a little girl a new dress for her first communion.
had the opportunity to make a child’s dream come true. During the mission, they met a little girl who was about to make her first communion, but whose family did not have the money to buy her a white dress. The teens pooled their money to buy her a first communion dress fit for a little princess.

The experience of missions reawakened that personal experience of Christ that they had felt so vividly during their year at Woodlands.

On Holy Thursday, Isabel Lopez shared in a Eucharist Hour, “This week has helped me very much. I have felt Christ very near me. We have talked a lot during this week. Being with my Woodlands sisters has helped me to remember how we lived Holy Week during our year in Woodlands Academy, accompanying Christ and carrying his cross. These days have especially made me ask myself, why me? Why did Christ choose me to go to Woodlands? Why am I here today on these missions?  And the only response that I find is that he loves me so much that he wants to remind me that he died for me. Even though I get caught up in other things, he doesn’t get
Woodlands Academy alumni
Woodlands Academy alumni: united in the mission.
tired of telling me ‘Isa, I am here.’ He is here with me right now, helping me with my daily cross.”

Isa added, “And I know that he will not let me go, that he will always be with me just like right now I am with him and trying to take away a little of the weight of his cross.”

Looking back, Pamel Villareal reflected, “God didn’t really need us, but he chooses to need us. I learned every day more than I was giving.”

Mariana Ortega, a consecrated woman who worked with the girls during their year in Ireland remarked, “We all concluded that the missions were an excuse from God to bring them closer to Him. They were a moment that the girls felt they could pause, breath again, live and give their faith and share what they’ve received.”

Looking at the group, she added, “It is beautiful to see the young women that they have become.”

Thanks to the initiative of Vahania Gomez, this first Holy Week reunion mission will be the first of many to come.

“We hope to hold annual Holy Week missions for students of Oak International Academies,” said Mariana Ortega. “They are a moment of reunion and renewal for the girls, and the experience helps them to grow more in their relationship with Christ and their mission as apostles.”

For more information on Woodlands Academy or other Oak International Academies please visit the website at or contact us at:



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Altius Foundation
Immaculate Conception Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Anáhuac Network of Universities
Canyon Heights Academy
Clear Water Academy
Dublin Oak Academy

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