Opening the Doors of Mercy

Mission Teams Embark on a Trip of a Lifetime
Posted on 05/06/2016

“Let us become agents of God’s mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.”

Pope Francis Easter Urbi et Orbi  March 31 , 2013.

Our board will finish Catholic Education Week by sending ninety students and fifteen staff from St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School in Barrie, St, Theresa Catholic High School in Midland and Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School in Orillia to Tanzania, Africa. This is the culmination of a year-long preparation that includes leadership and team-building as well as studying the history, geography, and social conditions in the country.

They will spend two weeks working on construction projects to benefit the community, but more importantly they will be building relationships with the people who live there. In particular, they will interact with the boys and girls of their host village through a variety of activities such as games and sports.

During their two-week stay, they will come to a deeper understanding of the living conditions in rural Tanzania. Those who have returned from similar missions tell a vivid tale of participating in a water walk. Women in Tanzania must walk great distances, several times a day, to draw and carry enough water for daily needs such as cooking and washing.

The lessons learned from these experiences last long after students return home. They come to  realize that the necessities of life such as food, water and shelter are never in question. Not to mention that there are so many things that young people take for granted in North America, like access to education and the ability to actively pursue their life’s passion.

How fitting that our mission team will leave for Tanzania at the end of Catholic Education Week. This year’s Catholic Education Week theme is Opening Doors of Mercy and every day we witness our students and staff opening doors of mercy through small or large acts of love and service for others. As Pope Francis has said, “a little mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” We wish our students and staff teams well and pray for them as they open doors of mercy on their mission to Tanzania.