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.”
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.
|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
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
As on every mission, the missionaries came to
give everything, and they ended up receiving much more than
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.
|A sizeable crowd turned out for the live Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.|
“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?