QUINCY -- Hours before 25 teens and seven adults from Holy Trinity Parish in Quincy boarded vans for mission trip to Mexico, Maine, July 23, where they were to spend a week helping some of the area's most impoverished residents, the parish community took part in a sendoff Mass celebrated by Bishop Peter Uglietto at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church.
In his homily, Bishop Uglietto, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, spoke on the importance of missionary work, saying that "Jesus calls each one of us" to continue the mission He had begun; the mission of spreading the good news.
"We are part of the endeavor. We must cooperate in this work for this to take root in our hearts and in our lives," he said.
This is the second year the parish, through the efforts of its coordinator of faith formation Brian Kirby and the charitable organization Beyond Sunday Missions, has organized a trip to Mexico, Maine, an area of the state that Kirby referred to as "very poor."
Last year, 15 teens and three adult chaperones participated in the week-long mission trip, completing a number of service projects for local residents, including painting houses, completing home repair jobs, and doing yardwork.
Participants of this year's trip, which at press time was still taking place and was scheduled to draw to a close on July, 29, were expected to take part in similar service projects, as well as participate in daily prayer and fun activities.
A house owned by Beyond Sunday Missions, a Massachusetts-based organization that helps organize mission trips for high schools students, was to serve as the group's home base.
A number of the participating teens this year also took part in last year's mission trip, including rising high school junior Maeve Collins, who said she is looking forward to helping others and seeing familiar faces.
"Last year I had a really fun time with my friends, and I thought it was amazing," she said.
It was an "eye-opening experience to see the poverty that is just so close to us because we kind of forget how privileged we are," Collins continued.
Following the Mass, Bishop Uglietto blessed the vans that would carry the participants to Maine, as well as the participants themselves, before they departed.
High schooler Dan O'Leary, who also participated in last year's trip, said the experience was "awesome."
"It was really fun," he said.
"The work was the most fun, because you get to see how you're helping someone and you got to learn some new skills," he continued.