Mission 2017

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2017 Mission Evaluation Form

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Friday, July 21, 2017- Mission

2017- VBS in morning and work at sites in afternoon with concluding dinner treat at Mr. Gatti’s.

On this last working day of Mission 2017, we got a treat to sleep in till 6:45a.m.  We ate a delicious  breakfast at the Basilica Cafe before heading out for a very busy day. The youth rounded up for prayer to kick off a very successful last day of VBS.  Over 80 children were in attendance this last day.  They had big smiles on their faces as they came wearing their VBS hand print ”I am the hands of Christ”  t-shirts that they had decorated on Wednesday.   The theme for today  was The Mass.  An abbreviated program was followed to allow for the VBS week to conclude with Mass said by the local Parish priest, Father Manuel Rafa.

St. Joseph’s Parish fed the children lunch after VBS, and the donated school supplies from St. Michael’s Parish were distributed.  The children left with big smiles and fond memories of the new friends that they had made.  Praise God for the safety and success of this VBS week.

After lunch the car groups headed out for the last day of work at the sites. Missionaries finished the painting, carpentry, and cleaning up around the sites. The homes were blessed and pictures were taken with the owners. Updates on all of the houses will be given at the Mission 2017 luncheon at St. Michael’s Parish after 11 a.m. Mass.


After stopping for snow-cone delights one last time at “Popeyes”, participants enjoyed a pizza treat at Mr. Gatti’s and then evening praise and worship.


Truly, truly, a blessed week for all missionaries and those ministered to.  PRAISE GOD!

Thursday, July 20, 2017- Mission 2017 – VBS in morning and work at sites in afternoon.  Talent show in the evening

Galatians 6:9  Let us not grow weary in doing good.

Vacation Bible School has been very faith-filled and a true blessing to all who have participated in this.  Our numbers have grown to 91 children.  The theme for today was St. Clare and the Eucharst.   In addition, Deacon Gary and the youth leaders during Bible Study  practiced the sign of the cross. Sister Ninfa stopped in to visit with the children and talk to them about vocations.  She encouraged the children to  listen for God’s call to a religious life.  She taught the children to pray, “ Lord help me to be who you want me to be,” (with no ….buts of what they had in mind to be.)Sister also joined the children in their dance moves.

After our sandwich lunch, youth prepared cards for the homeowners at their assigned worksites while the adults planned for the afternoon worksite  builds and repairs.  With only one more day of work after today, detailed site reviews were given to see how to best deploy manpower to maximize completions at all sites.  Despite a very hot afternoon, much progress was made once again at all the sites.  Most sites ended up working after 4 p.m. today to maximize completion.

After a fish dinner, there was just a short time for practice before all tromped off to the talent show amidst much excitement and anticipation. Over a dozen “acts” were on the roster.  The judges, Deacon Mark Olivieri, Cindy Moriarty, Steve Curran, Tad Macaraeg  were introduced and the show began.  Fantastic “talent” was exhibited by all. The crowd was clapping and laughing and many, many times on their feet encouraging their fellow missionaries.   Deacon  Gary won the contest with his dance moves act and the flip-floppin’ do-woppers  placing second.  Juliana Ussia and Aviana Quiroga tied for third.

St. Martin’s Deacon Mark, did a great job  leading the night’s evening devotional encouraging the young people to continue to listen for the vocation of how God is calling them referencing Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  Justin Lapeyra from St. Martin de Porres shared his witness of his being called into the seminary.   Another wonderful day on mission!!!  Praise and thanks be to God!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017-Mission 2017 – VBS in morning and worksites in afternoon. Evening Mass, Reconciliation, and Adoration in the evening

The focus of today’s Vacation Bible School was St. Joseph, Jesus’s foster father. Children acted out the story of the miraculous staircase and the “nine days of prayer” skit.  A special highlight for the children this morning was the making of hand print t-shirts “I Am the Hand’s of Christ”.  These T-shirts  will be worn on Friday for the closing Mass.  A great, fun, spiritualVBS day was had by all, once again, with lots of smiles throughout the day.

The afternoon was spent with missionaries continuing with work on the houses.

After dinner, we were fortunate to be able to attend Mass led by Father Manuel Rafa followed by Eucharistic Adoration and Reconciliation.

Tuesday, July 18, 201-Mission 2016 – VBS in morning and work at sites in afternoon

After the first full day of VBS and work projects, we got an extra 30 minutes of sleep this morning waking up at 6:30 a.m.  All of us were a little more weary than previous mornings, but everybody was positive and eager to get back out there.   After breakfast oat the Basilica,  we headed out to St. Joseph’s  for VBS.  Many of the children brought friends along with them this morning though our numbers remained around 86.

Andrew Calhoun kicked off the VBS this morning with the song “Father Abraham” to get the kids laughing and feeling at ease.  Deacon Gary welcomed the children with an opening prayer.  Once again, our youth did a fantastic job of sharing their enthusiasm and love of God with the children.  The theme for today was St. Helen of the True Cross with the children role playing her story in their classrooms. Children enjoyed a hot dog lunch and then left with their parents at noon with big smiles on their faces, and arms full of activity pages and the crosses they had decorated in crafts.

After lunch, we headed to the work sites.  A variety of carpentry work was performed including door and window installations and roof repair Priming and wood replacement were also a “hot” projects of the day at our 6 sites.   Again, thanks be to God for watching over our safety and keeping the thunderstorms well to our east so as not to disrupt work.

After stopping for snow-cone delights at “Popeyes”, participants enjoyed a barbecue hamburger and  hot dog dinner at the pool party at the Boys and Girls Club outdoor pool.  It felt great for the missionaries to cool off in the pool after the workday in the  hot sun.  Kevin Kapchinski  led the evening with a  Praise and Worship service with many praising God from the pool.    Awesome indeed!

Another spirit-filled day!!!


Group photo in front of Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle


Monday, July 17, 2017-  First Day of VBS and work at sites

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, everyone rolled out of bed at 6 a.m. for the very busy day that lay ahead.  After fueling up on a scrambled egg and toast breakfast at the Basilica Cafe, we headed to St. Joseph’s Parish in Edinburg, Texas for Vacation Bible School(VBS).  Missionaries from all Parishes divided into their age group assignments and began enthusiastically welcoming and registering children for the VBS program.  Approximately 82 children turned out for VBS this first day!  Additional children are anticipated as the week progresses.

Everyone had a wonderful day!   Children rotated between 4 activity rooms: Bible Study, Crafts, Dance and Games.  Our teen missionaries in coordination with fifteen youth from St. Joseph’s Parish  led the children in the program.  The theme of the program this year is “Called and Chosen”.    All activities were high-energy so the children worked off a lot of energy throughout the morning. Children representing each age group enthusiastically reported on what they learned in the program that morning to the applause of their peers who agreed with claps and cheers. Deacon Gary closed the program at noon in prayer  and then children were reunited with their parents and went home with big smiles and arms full of the day’s projects.


After a quick sandwich lunch, and worksite planning meeting, the various car crews gathered their gear and headed out to 9 locations to help local folks in need with repairs to their homes.  Temperatures were high but everyone worked hard to stay hydrated and protect themselves with sunscreen. Work at all sites began with clearing away the areas near the house to make it safe to work.   Much progress was made toward preparing for new painting, with some wood replacement, scraping,  and wire brushing. Thanks be to God for watching over our safety.  Everyone departed their sites around 4:15 p.m. with some car groups making a stop at the famous Popeye’s snowcone stand before returning to the Basilica Hotel. After a dinner of chicken fried steak, we made our way over to the Basilica Grounds to pray the Stations of the Cross on their lovely outdoor path.


Planning for the next day’s VBS and worksite activity then followed for about an hour before closing this first very busy day with evening devotional led by Darren Seibert.

Sunday, July 16, 2017- Day 2 of Mission 2017 Trip to South Padre Island and VBS and work project planning

After a 7:15 a.m. wake-up and  breakfast tacos in the Basilica Cafe, we gathered at 8:30 and prayed together before pulling our car caravans toward South Padre(approximately 70 miles away).

We arrived at the beach by 10:30 and set up our home base at Pavilion #2.  Lots and lots of sunscreen and then most of the group hit the beach and lunch was set up.  Many  in our group went on the banana boat and/or tried out parasailing.  The weather was perfect with any rain remaining well off shore.   A truly blessed outing all around.  Cars were loaded about 3 p.m. and the groups headed back to the Pilgrim House and showers.  Dinner choice was left up to the car groups to sample the local restaurants’ food.

After returning from dinner, work site safety rules and guidelines were reviewed and then the youth and adults prepped for our VBS kick-off the next morning. Missionaries broke up into the age groups they’d be teaching, got acquainted, assigned duties and reviewed lesson plans.    Mission work crew adults met and planned out their work assignments.  We ended with prayer and praise and worship and retired to rooms about 10:30 p.m.


Saturday, July 15, 2017- Day 1 of Mission 2017 Arrival in San Juan, Texas, Mass at the Basilica, Mission Planning and Get Acquainted

Mission 2017 is here!!! Our missionaries  have arrived in San Juan and have been busyloading and unloading in preparation for a great week of service to St. Joseph’s Parish in Edinburg, Texas. Many thanks for the prayers for travel safety.

Great first day of Mission! We’re now close to 114 strong in number with missionaries from Saint Michaels, St. Thomas Aquinas in College Station, St. Martin de Porres in Dripping Springs.  Sister Rose from the Basilica staff led our group on a tour before a wonderful Mariachi Mass at Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle National Shrine.

After a satisfying  beef enchilda dinner, a fun ”Find Someone”  ice breaker helped get everyone acquainted.  A planning meeting was then held for work projects.  The early crew then gave a presentation on the homes identified as our work projects for the week.  Everyone enjoyed hearing the home nicknames and the stories behind the homes.  The day’s events finished with missionaries getting acquainted and praise and worship.



The Armor of God



Purpose:  To foster in the young people an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ to be missionary disciples.

Vision:  For youth to be heard and accepted in the faith community as parishioners while learning to be respectful and have a strong foundation in their Catholic Faith through prayer and worship and justice and service opportunities.

Purpose of Youth Leadership Team (CORE TEAM)

Goal 1: “To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.”

                                         -United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “Renewing the Vision”

CORE TEAM:  Thursday’s 7:00 pm-8:30 pm

For youth to become leaders in the parish community.  They learn on developing a strong foundation with Jesus Christ and learn how they can share their faith with others through serving retreats, speaking at youth nights, and participating as leaders in youth and parish events.  To give youth from all walks of life a voice in their parish community.

Purpose of Youth Faith Formation

Goal 2: “To draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community.”

                                         -United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “Renewing the Vision”


To provide catechists to our young people on the faith practices of the Catholic Church.  To help them identify themselves as Catholics and what that means.  To teach them the faith and to empower young people to defend the faith.

Purpose of Youth Nights & Deeper

Goal 3: “To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.”

                                         -United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “Renewing the Vision”

HS-YOUTH NIGHT:  Wednesday’s 7:00 pm-8:30 pm

To evangelize to high school youth on the understanding that Christ is relational in every aspect of their life.  To engage and challenge youth to developing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

JH-YOUTH NIGHT:  Friday’s 7:00 pm-8:30 pm

To engage junior high youth on a deeper understanding of their faith by engaging in activities that is fun and energetic.  To strengthen their understanding of their faith as they grow into older adolescents.

DEEPER:  Tuesday’s 7:00 pm-8:30 pm

To help youth understand scripture per the teachings of the Catholic Church and how it can apply to their life today.


For registration forms and more information click the forms tab.


Pictures: May 8th, 2017 Jr. High

Youth Camp 


100th Celebration

 Our Lady of Fatima