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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Mission Youth Returns to Haiti
After successful missionary trip in 2010, 17 young people return to aid the suffering.

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Mission Youth missionaries with some of the Haitian children in Port-au-Prince.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 25, 2011- Seventeen college students from the Mission Youth apostolate of Regnum Christi and some Regnum Christ consecrated women escaped the cold winter in the United States to go to sunnier shores.  But these students were not on vacation.  They took a mission trip to help the suffering in the capital city of Haiti, still reeling from the effects of an earthquake a year ago.  Mission Youth students also took a mission trip to Haiti last year in June, 2010.

On this trip, the students worked with the Missionaries of Charity, the order begun by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, in their Home for Children and school for 450 boys and girls from the tent cities. 

To say Mission Youth had a productive mission trip would be an understatement.  While in Port-au-Prince, the students painted 6 murals, built 20 desks so more children could attend school, cared for
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Katelyn Moroney with a young friend during the Haiti mission.
45 seriously ill babies and 60 toddlers and older children in the sisters’ hospital, visited the homes for the dying, helped the sisters with food and medicine distributions, and painted the chapel and other rooms of the sisters’ convent.

Katelyn Moroney, a Regnum Christi consecrated woman who attended the mission, said, “The suffering in Port-au-Prince is incredible right now.  In this mission we were able to be the human face of love and concern for so many people. What a powerful experience. It helped me to see the strength of people who stand up and keep going no matter how difficult life gets for them,” she said. “You can talk a lot about aid and solutions to poverty, but when it comes down to it, nothing can replace giving these people the look of respect and sincere concern they long for. They need, more than anything, sincere respect for their dignity as human beings.”

Katelyn said she and the students tried to see the people of Haiti “the way God looks at them,” not with a distant or judgmental stance, but “with the love that draws you into other people’s lives.”

“We tried to be part of their suffering and to rebuild from within their dignity and the truth the plan God has for their lives.”

She said it was “powerful to kneel on the dirt floor of a clinic and wash the wounds of people, to accompany women in the last moments of their lives, to look into the eyes of mothers
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Mission Youth missionaries with children from the Missionaries of Charity school in Port-au-Prince.
whose children were near death because of malnutrition as they avoided your gaze, ashamed to show you which baby was theirs, and see their relief when they saw your look of understanding and love… I understood God’s love in a different way after truly being His hands and feet and heart for these people.”

Katelyn said she gained her insight during prayer. “I could see so clearly the difference between this worldly suffering and the reality of eternal suffering.  The physical suffering of the Haitian people God can take away any moment, and I believe that He will ensure these people are happy in Heaven for all eternity because of all they have suffered.” 

“But it is possible to touch Hell there, a suffering one cannot escape, and that gets more and more intense.  Because of our free will, our freedom and our sins, there is nothing that God can do when that suffering begins in our hearts.  God respects the freedom He gave us.  This realization motivated me so much to reach out and show that same love to those suffering internally from their own decisions or situations.  I cannot bear that people I know and love could suffer like that for all eternity.  It reminded me again of why I was willing to give up all my life for God and to serve others and make sure the grace and gifts God gave us in the Church reach each person.”



Related links

Helping Hands Medical Missions
St Rafael Guizar y Valencia Missionary Center

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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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