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Students Join Christmas Mission to Mexico
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
Trip Mixes Acts of Charity with Spiritual Pilgrimage

Youth for the Third Millennium missionaries spent part of their Christmas break building homes like this one for poor residents of Santa Ana Zirosto, Mexico.
Youth for the Third Millennium missionaries spent part of their Christmas break building homes like this one for poor residents of Santa Ana Zirosto, Mexico.

Twenty-five young men from the United States gave of themselves this Christmas season on a Youth for the Third Millennium (www.ytm.org) mission to México. They mixed charitable outreach – such as building or repairing homes for the poor – with spiritual and cultural visits to sites of interest, including the tomb of the boy martyr Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio.

The 25 young missionaries hailed from Michigan, Louisiana, Ohio and Texas. They put new roofs on 23 homes and built one house for a widow. The mission took place in a little village called Santa Ana Zirosto, Michoacan, two hours from Cotija de a Paz, the home town of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi.

The students began their mission by flying into Guadalajara, where they spent the first night at the home of a local family. “Imagine 25 people squeezing in all the hallways, bedrooms, tv room and so forth,” said Fr. Juan Guerra, LC, chaplain for the mission trip. “The family was very generous in their hospitality, and it set the tone for the missionaries to be generous with their time and efforts during the trip.”

A band greeted the missionaries upon their late-night arrival in Santa Ana Zirosto. The townspeople also served the missionaries dinner. One memorable event was a outing on horseback to a church buried in lava when the nearby Paricutin Volcano erupted in 1943, wiping out the entire town. All it left standing was the church bell tower and the altar wall. To this day, smoke still rises from the volcano’s crater. Visitors said the volcano is so active, just walking on the ground they felt their shoes becoming hot.

The missionaries slept in the sacristy of another local Church, which was built in the 16th century by Augustinian missionaries.

The grateful townspeople made sure the missionaries did not leave empty handed: they gave them two large boxes of avocados, the main local crop and source of income for the town.

In Cotija, the missionaries visited the Legionaries of Christ museum and their Crypt. They prayed at the tomb of Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio in nearby Sahuayo.

Before returning to Guadalajara for the trip home. The missionaries visited Janizio Island. A short boat trip took them to the town of Pazcuaro, which is kept very much the same way the Spanish built it in 1500.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2007-01-23


 
 

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Catholic.net web site
Mission Network
Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center and the Center for Family Development
Changing Hearts
Cancun-Chetumal Prelature
Challenge
ConQuest
Helping Hands Medical Missions


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