Day Two of Mission Camp

After Mass and a nourishing breakfast, we walked across the street to Autumn Oaks Community. We spent time visiting with the residents and doing chores around the grounds.

We enjoyed playing cards and listening to their stories; we always feel welcome there, and they are so grateful for the work we do beautifying their gardens and grounds.

We walked up to Fireman’s Park after lunch to stain some new sign posts before heading to Slinger Pond for a refreshing and fun swim.

For dinner and evening fun, we went to Ann Hayden’s house. She introduced us to her little farm, donkeys, goats, chickens and dogs. Ann built a huge bonfire for us and we enjoyed laughing and sharing stories.


Mission Camp, Day One

This year’s Mission Camp boasts twenty Middle School Campers from St Peter and Resurrection Parishes. We started camp with a little team building exercises, a lesson about Mission Discipleship from Tom Gauger and a nice talk from our Missionary Priest, Fr. Augustine, about his missionary experiences in the Himilaian Mountains.

Being properly prepared and encouraged, we headed out to our first Mission Site, St Peter School Playground. The playground was in desperate need of an overhaul, so we worked hard in the hot sun to redefine the playground layout, remove unwanted vegetation, and lay down copious amounts of mulch to pad the play areas. Once finished, we looked back on the work we’d done with a sense of accomplishment, the playground is now restored to a beautiful and safe state. We know the young children will enjoy many hours of fun here.

Many hands make light work. We finished quicker than we thought so we decided to weed and beautify the St Peter Cemetery also, we were surprised by the number of names we recognized and took great reverence in cleaning around each grave.

After Mass in St George Chapel, we enjoy dinner and a movie, “Heaven is for Real”, followed by discussion about how our actions reflect our beliefs..

Sunday at Steubenville

Saturday Night Adoration at Steubenville is so powerful and spirit-filled.  We all had an awesome experience of the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  The Eucharistic Procession was amazing, Fr Mike Schmitz walked all around the arena carrying the Monstrance, it came so close to us, where we were kneeling and praying, we could almost touch Jesus.  And the worship music had us all worshiping like we never have before.  In small group that night we shared our personal experiences and of God’s Merciful Love.

As we woke this morning, we were still filled with love and fervor for God, we were excited to get back to the conference, but also a little sad that this is the last day.  We know we have to go home, but we want to find a way to take this fervor and love with us, so that it is a part of our daily lives.  And sure enough, that’s what the Sunday Morning Session was about: the steps we can take to make Jesus a part of our daily lives; Frequent Mass and confession, Adoration, Scripture reading, youth group and spiritual friendship to keep us accountable.  Some of this we already do some of, but we were encouraged to be more intentional about it.  Pray for us as we work to Elevate our relationship with God.  

Sunday Morning Mass was a double bishop Mass, Bishop Powers from the diocese of Superior and Bishop Quinn of the Winona Minnesota diocese.

After the conference, we went hiking in Quarry Hill Park, it was good to get some fresh air and move our bodies after three days of sitting in conferences.  Back at the Hotel, we enjoyed small group sharing, swimming, pizza and fun.

Saturday Morning! 

Saturday morning we had daily Mass, an awesome men’s/ women’s session, confession, workshop rounds, and got to meet Father Mike Schmitz! We spent a lot of time reflecting and worshiping our amazing Father.  

Father Mike Schmitz preached the homily at daily mass and focused on trust in God.  He analyzed the bible story of the the three brothers who refused to worship their king because God was the true King.  The country’s king sentenced the three brothers to burn to death in a furnace. The king tested God and asked, “Will your God save you from this?”.  The oldest brother answered,”He can save us, but if He doesn’t,  I still belong to Him.” This is the strongest form of trust.  The brothers were sent into the furnace, but didn’t burn, and were instead were joined by the Son of Man.  Father Mike taught us today this when we are facing obstacles in our life: I know you can save me, but even if you don’t, you are still my Lord and I trust in You.

Saturday afternoon/night was filled with another round of Workshops, a talk on pornagrahy (by Father Mike Schmitz), and a very dramatic and beautiful Adoration.  Many students fainted by the powerful presence of Jesus our King.  Father Mike Schmitz carried Jesus around the crowd, using the Monstrance.  The amazing night was finished with small group time. 

Multiple students have expressed that they never want to leave this conference because the constant presence of God in the people around them.  This environment is truly beautiful, thank you for praying for us!

We Believe

To start our day, we went to daily Mass like usual. Though we forgot that it was the holy feast of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, so Mass went long and then we fought a head to head battle with Mother Nature, resulting in us not only running through a down pour, but being a little late to morning prayer. The day followed with our very last day at our work sites. Since we completed everything assigned to us in the first three days, today was very laid back by cleaning closests and organizing cabinets. Once finished, we took time to reflect on the week and how much it impacted our lives. It was a bittersweet goodbye to Miss Paulyn but she loved the cross we gave to her, especially since we all signed the back of it. While leaving, Eileen decided to take us to the St. Louis Cathedral and Basilica. It was an amazing experience to see what a true masterpiece looks like. Over all we are excited to come home but will truly miss the people we worked with and will keep them in our hearts forever.

Show me the way

Today we were given the rare opportunity to minister to the chronically homeless. We started by thoughtfully and prayerfully putting together care packages as well as food bags, making 100 sandwiches for 50 bags total. Once they were assembled, we followed Miss Paulyn’ s team directly to the various “campsites” of the homeless. They were all very excited to see Miss Paulyn and they were equally as greatful when they saw us get out of the cars to deliver their packages. Although the visits were brief, they gave us a little insight to their lives, which broke all of our stereotypical thoughts. They are joyful and generous people who have created a community of their own, hidden in the city.  Today’s experience not only touched their hearts but ours as well and we are happy to have helped the people in need.