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SMC students travel to Mexico for ministry

Alicia Smith | Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seven students from Saint Mary’s College took a trip to Monterrey Mexico over fall break to help with the Holy Cross Mission.

Saint Mary’s Assistant Director of Campus Ministry Regina Wilson was the advisor on the trip. Students stayed with Sister Michelle Toupee, a Holy Cross Sister also called Hermana Mica in Mexico, at the Convent House in Guadalupe.

“We went with Hermana Mica to the ministries that she and the two other Sisters of the Holy Cross attend in the La Luz Parish. This included going to Club de los niños y niñas (Boys and Girls Club), where students from ages 7-13 work on school work and learn about Catholic teaching and life skills,” sophomore Katherine Putz said.

Students also walked elderly members of the Parish home from lunch, took communion to the sick and homebound and met with the La Luz Parish’s youth group. Students attended Mass several times and met with women from the Parish to pray the rosary. While at the Parish, students also visited Catechism classes.

According to the Congregation of the Holy Cross’s constitution, “Our mission sends us across borders of every sort. Often we must make ourselves at home among more than one people or culture, reminding us again that the farther we go in giving, the more we stand to receive.”

“I went on this trip because I wanted to see what the Holy Cross Mission is in action in places other than the United States. I also wanted a chance to experience Catholicism from a different cultural perspective while working with and getting to know that culture,” Putz said.

La Luz Parish is located in Monterrey, the capital of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. Students stayed in the poorer part of Monterrey.

“One of the most difficult parts of the trip was when we visited the neighborhoods in the Parish and we saw how desolate and impoverished some areas were and the living conditions some of the people had to live with,” Putz said.

The mission trip made a great impact on the students.

“When we visited the Club, we got to read to the children and then play with them afterwards. It was very heartwarming to see how welcoming and kind they were even though we were strangers and couldn’t all understand them,” Putz said.