• July 29, 2011

Courtney P. - El Salvador 2011-2012

In May of 2009, I grad­u­ated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a degree in Communication Arts with a con­cen­tra­tion in Television/Radio. My time at Steubenville was filled with many graces and bless­ings, and it was there that my desire to do mis­sion work began. Many stu­dents from Franciscan spend their breaks going on mis­sion trips all over the world. My friends always returned with beau­tiful sto­ries about the people they encoun­tered and the love of Christ that they shared, and it was at this time that I started to pray and wonder if God was calling me to go on a mis­sion trip. The summer after grad­u­a­tion I was blessed with the oppor­tu­nity to visit a friend who was a mis­sionary in Jamaica. This was an eye-opening expe­ri­ence in which my desire to serve others grew, and lead me to travel to Jamaica again for a mis­sion trip the fol­lowing summer.

Last summer, I spent two weeks in Jamaica preparing chil­dren for First Holy Communion. Many mis­sion­aries have remarked that they feel as if they receive more than they give when they are working as mis­sion­aries, and when I was in Jamaica, I often felt that I was the one being served. I also real­ized how spoiled I was in so many ways. The people that we worked with were only able to attend Mass every other Sunday, although many of them would go every day if they could. Back at home, I could choose from many dif­ferent Mass times and had the ability to con­ve­niently attend daily Mass. The people I worked with had to travel far to reach their church, while my parish is only min­utes from my house, and has per­petual Eucharistic Adoration. I real­ized how much I was taking for granted, and I resolved to change the way I had been living my life, resolving to stay closer to Christ in the Eucharist.

Since my time in Jamaica last summer, I have tried to attend daily Mass and fre­quent Eucharistic ado­ra­tion. One evening, after watching The Passion of Jesus Christ, fol­lowed by ado­ra­tion, I felt called to look into long-term mis­sionary work. Immediately upon returning home and begin­ning my online search, I found Heart’s Home. I couldn’t believe that such a mis­sion existed. Heart’s Home is every­thing I was looking for, espe­cially a simple way of life in which you show love to others and rec­og­nizing and restoring their human dig­nity. The whole mis­sion sur­rounds the Eucharist, which I believe is essen­tial.

It is the Eucharist that will give me the strength I need to carry on God’s mis­sion. In October, I will be leaving for a four­teen month mis­sion in El Salvador. There I will truly learn the meaning of the pas­sage: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13). I am thankful for all the love and sup­port I have received and will con­tinue to receive through this mis­sion.
Thank you for your prayers and dona­tions to this beau­tiful mis­sion, and you will remain in my prayers.

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