Mission Trip to Haiti

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An important but misunderstood tenet of Catholicism is the concept of social justice. In fact many Catholics (and non-Catholics) do not adequately understand that the social teaching of the Church is an essential part of Catholic faith. Dignity of the Human Person, Peace and Disarmament, Sustainability, and Economic Justice are all major themes of the Church’s Social Justice teachings. (If you are interested in learning more about these teachings, click here).

I think all Catholics should at some point be a missionary in order to fulfill their Christian obligation of social justice. Now this doesn’t mean one has sell all their worldly possessions and move to a Abbey in Peru. Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children or Bridging can also be considered “mission work.? Me, I am taking a middle route, serving as a missionary for a week this upcoming January in Haiti.

My local parish church has been active in Haiti for many years and we sponsor a school in Leogane. For a few years now parishioners have been going to Haiti to help out at the school, tend to the sick at a local convent, and assist the poor in mountainous villages. Surely Haiti needs it. By far the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, Haiti has been wracked by deforestation (for more on the environmental degradation of Haiti check out Jared Diamond’s book Collapse), Aids, political instability, and extreme poverty. Couple that with recent riots over lack of food and being pummeled by three hurricanes in the course of a month, Haiti is a country in dire need of economic assistance, technical expertise and spiritual support.

Members of our Church have established a non-profit organization called Mission Haiti that sponsors mission trips like the one I am going on and to educate Americans about Haiti’s plight. The trip in January will have about 8 to 10 missionaries. Some of them have been to Haiti many times, some (like me) will be going for the first time. Our mission work will last 8 days and a number of folks are staying for a second week. Besides assisting at the school and tending to the sick, we will be bringing as many school supplies, clothing, and medicine our luggage can carry.

Unfortunately sending Missionaries to Haiti is not cheap and the Mission Haiti organization and the individual missionaries must raise the money themselves to pay for this important work. This is where you can help. Check out the Mission Haiti website and feel free to contribute something to their effort. If you would like to help sponsor my individual mission expenses (around $2,000) leave a comment or send me an e-mail privately (freealonzo@comcast.net) and I will contact you on how we can make that happen.

Over the course of the next few months I plan to do a couple of posts about Haiti and the situation in that country. Don’t worry, this blog won’t become a Jerry Lewis telethon or anything of that sort, but maybe a monthly respite from the usual ravings that populate this site.

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This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on September 10, 2008 2:27 PM.

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