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Turn to Jesus (Article)

A Mission Tradition Has Begun
Small town Kansas girls meet uptown Atlanta girls for a Holy Week to remember

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Kansas missionaries help run a kids' activity during the missions.
April 24, 2011. Gainesville, GA. If you ask most people, they would not be able to tell you where Beloit, Kansas is, nor do most people know that there are close to 40 Challenge girls that live there. Beloit has two traffic lights (which the locals avoid using) and lots of combines (if you don’t know that farming term, look it up). Beloit is a place where everybody knows everybody and family always comes first.
As hard as it is to leave a place like Beloit for Easter, eight high school girls decided to break out of their home town traditions and start a new tradition of their own. After a few successful fundraising efforts they were able to pay their way down to Atlanta, Georgia to join a group of girls from several Catholic high schools in the area for Holy Week missions with Mission Youth.

missionaries from Kansas
Not in Kansas anymore... the Benoit missionaries have begun a new Holy Week tradition in Atlanta.
The girls teamed up with two full-time missionary families from France who live and work in the one of poorest Hispanic communities in north Georgia. These families live with the people and like the people in order to minister to their physical and spiritual needs. “We’re here to learn mercy” said one of the founders of the mission center. “We learn mercy and we try to be mercy for those who come in search of God’s love.”
The girls got to work early on Holy Thursday and their Kansas farming skills came in handy. Their main task was to weed, till, and plant the community garden which will supply the mission center pantry with plenty of fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables for the people in need. The girls also painted the mission center kitchen with colorful Mexican flowers and went door-to-door inviting families to attend the Triduum liturgies.
crucifixion missions
During the live Stations of the Cross, parishioners enact the crucifixion.
One highlight during the Triduum was the living Stations of the Cross held at Laurel Park in Gainesville on Good Friday. Thousands of people walked and prayed as Jesus was tried, tortured, and led to his death on the cross.
The missionaries organized kids’ activities on Holy Saturday and the culmination of the week was the Easter Vigil Mass, uniting parishioners of St. Michael’s parish in a tri-lingual Mass—English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. During the homily Jesus got a standing ovation, started by the missionaries, as the pastor, Fr. Jaime Barona boomed “Jesus is Risen, Alleluia!” from the pulpit. With over 10 adult baptisms and 40 adult confirmations, the Holy Spirit was almost tangible as these men and women entered fully into the life of the Church through the sacraments.
As on every mission, the missionaries came to give everything, and they ended up receiving much more than
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A sizeable crowd turned out for the live Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
they felt they gave. Each of the missionaries went back to their homes, either in rural Kansas or urban Atlanta renewed in their faith and ready to be Christ’s mercy for the world.
“I’ll never spend another Holy Week doing anything else,” said Kansas missionary Meg Eilert. It seems that a mission tradition has started…why would you do anything else during Holy Week?



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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