ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. Twenty students from the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Catholic Campus Ministry will be traveling to Belize for one week to volunteer their time to better the living conditions there. This year’s trip has nearly doubled the students from last year’s mission trip. The students will be leaving January 10, 2010 with Father Brian Barr, Director of Vocations, Diocese of Rockville Centre and Chaplain at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
While in Belize, the students will serve the community of Benque, a small town near the border of Belize and Mexico. They hope to assist those struggling to provide safe homes for their families, as the living conditions are very poor. As a result, the team will participate in several building projects with Habitat for Humanity. In addition to the building projects, they will work with a local high school, Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School, to provide assistance to teachers both in the classroom and through various after school activities.
Last January, eleven students from the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Catholic Campus Ministry traveled to Blessed Assurance Orphanage in Jamaica. This is one of eight orphanages run by Mustard Seed Communities, a privately-run Catholic organization that cares for children with physical and mental disabilities to bring joy and bring life to the children. They came back to serve as leaders on their college campuses, filled with a renewed zeal and love for Jesus Christ and their brothers and sisters in their communities.
“The fact that I could get these kids up and help them run, play and eat made me feel so connected to Jesus and all He did for us,” said Jillian Lipari, junior year student, Hofstra University. Jesus used His abilities to help people experience what they never have, and perhaps never would have without His influence. I, a 20-year-old college student, was able to do that for these kids.”
In order to afford the trip, each student is trying to raise $1,200, which will cover the cost of travel, room and board as well as a donation to leave with the Belizean people. Additionally, students are planning a campus-wide fundraising event entitled "So You BELIZE You Can Dance," on December 3rd at Adelphi University, to build awareness and gain support of the mission through prayers and financial means.
Campus Ministry is one of the ministries of the Catholic Church of Long Island supported by the Catholic Ministries Appeal.
About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million). There are 133 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 17,000 baptisms, 19,000 confirmations, 17,000 first communions and 3,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are approximately 20,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,500 in higher institutions. There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 88,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (12/08).
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