Monday, 31 August 2015 00:00

Peru Mission: Tradition

peru news

The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters accompanied The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) this year on their 4th annual mission trip to Piura, Peru from July 28th to August 10th. The missionary group was led by Father Daniel Heenan, who was Chaplain at the Morning Star Camp the past two summers. Three other priests and seminarians, along with 40 young adults and teens from across the country comprised the enthusiastic team. These  mission trips were started in 2010 under the patronage of St. Francis Xavier. Its goal is to offer to young people in the traditional movement a chance to help in third world countries and also to participate in spreading a love and devotion to the Tridentine Mass in all its splendor.

Participants accompanied the faculty for two weeks in corporal and temporal works of mercy among the poor. Every morning, the missionaries divided into groups and were assigned different jobs where they were lead by local parish team staff, who also worked with the missionaries on their different assignments. These ministries included delivering food to families in need, building or repairing bamboo houses, teaching English or music at the local school, painting church owned facilities, and visiting and inter acting with children at  an orphanage.

Most importantly, however, and topping the list of the daily work schedule, the group sustained a mission above a mission – that of brining the Traditional Latin Mass with them wherever they went. “Through this missionary experience, participants dedicate themselves to serving Christ in the poor whom we encounter. With this perspective, the work we do while on mission is much more than mere philanthropy. It is a means to deepen our relationship with Christ.” (SFX mission website)

The presence of the clergy made it possible for Masses (even Solemn High) to be celebrated daily in different villages. The Sisters directed the missionaries, now turned choir, whose singing added to the majesty of the Mass. Sometimes six Masses were celebrated a day. It was truly awe-inspiring experience to present the richness of the Latin Mass to those who have had little or no previous exposure to it. Sister Martina translated some of the sermons explaining the Mass and observed a visible change in the parishioners as the beauty and meaning of the Mass unfolded in all its majesty. Members of the group were also privileged to witness and assist the priests on Communion calls, blessing houses, and visiting the sick. Each experience was moving and life-changing.

    Before the the trip ended and  the missionaries returned home, they spent a day in the Capital, Lima – the “City of the Saints.” At the Convent of Santo Domingo they venerated the tombs of St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres and attended a Solemn High Mass at the Parroquia del Sagrario (Church of the Tabernacle) next to the Cathedral of Lima.

You hear a lot these days about mission work in third world, but the uniqueness of this mission was the combination of the spiritual and the temporal. The Peruvian people were touched not only profited materially, but were enriched in spiritually in the richness of their Faith. What a beautiful experience for all!

Check out the gallery of photos from the trip below! Click to enlarge!