Published On: Thu, Jul 11th, 2013

Catholic mission trip changes lives in Boston


BOSTON, Mass. — Catholic students and sponsors from Randolph and Osmond recently returned from the trip of a lifetime, participating in the Catholic HEART Work camp.

The mission group consisted of Kathryn Kuchta, Ashley Schmit, Nathan Tunink, Justin Korth, Hannah Thies, Mackenzie Lemmons, Kayla Backer, Sydney Scott, Jace Gubbels and Leo Haselhorst, all of St. Jane Frances Catholic Church, Randolph. MaKayla Johnson represented St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Osmond. Fr. Mike Swanton, Kim Kuchta, Amanda Reimers and Gary Schieffer served as this year’s adult sponsors.

The group left June 27 for Boston, Mass., after a prayer led by Fr. Mike Swanton in Randolph. In Boston, they experienced American history firsthand. They were able to discover history in action at several sites, such as the Old North Church, the site of the Boston Massacre and Fenway Park. The group was also able to explore Cape Cod.

While touring Boston, the participants visited several Catholic churches. St. Stephen’s Catholic Church and St. Leonard’s were both in the Bostonian Italian Quarter.

The students and sponsors made an hour long trek to Groton, Mass., Sunday, to begin their weeklong experience serving those in need as God’s hands and feet.

In Groton, the group was joined with around 400 other participants from Tennessee, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. They all stayed on Lawrence Academy High School’s campus, sleeping in classrooms and attending programs in the auditorium area.

Catholic HEART Work camp, a nationwide organization that focuses on serving those in need: the poor, elderly, neglected and handicapped, has been in service for 21 years. CHWC is expecting 13,500 participants in over 50 locations across the country this summer.

A full Catholic Mass was held every morning at the school. The students and sponsors would then leave in 43 separate groups, or teams, to complete mission work each day. Splitting into groups allowed the participants from Randolph and Osmond to meet other students from across the country. This deepened their faith lives also, as the students opened up to new people.

Thies said she made many new friendships with others across the country this week; she enjoyed meeting new people and listening to their stories.

Every evening ended with a high-energy program, filled with singing, dancing, prayer, and glory and praise activities.

Tunink noted that Catholic HEART Work camp’s evening programs were filled with high energy and excitement.

The students took part in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confession. This allowed each individual to grow closer to Jesus Christ and learn more about the Catholic faith.

This year’s theme, “Be Seen,” focused on giving back to the community, being seen as a servant of Jesus and the Catholic Church.

Pick up this week’s issue of the Randolph Times to read more!