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youth mission trip 2017

June 17 - 24, 2017
Louisville, Ky

Parents (and those with access to our Shutterfly website):
CLICK HERE for all our pictures and more stories about the trip so far!

Monday 6/19/2017
We woke up in the tundra at 6:30am from music on the intercom system.  Luckily, we found a space heater in a closet off of our classroom and will use it the following nights.  Once we unthawed, we carb-loaded at breakfast and then attended mass.  After, we drove with our groups to the worksites.  Our group (#16) is painting the Habitat for Humanity office in New Albany, Indiana (aka Kentuckiana) because eventually the office will become one of the homes that this organization will provide for a family.  The first day was entirely prep work; we moved all of the furniture, laid drop cloths, taped around trim, washed the floor boards, removed dozens of cobwebs, and primed the walls.  The bus dropped us off back at the middle school at 3:30, and we all had free time until dinner and the evening program.  Most people spent the time playing cards or soccer, napping, or washing off in the chilly, hose-like showers.  Dinner was pulled-pork sandwiches, mac and cheese, baked beans, salad, and cake.  At the evening program, one of our priests, Fr. Norman, spoke and even rapped for us.  Lee Roessler, our musician, also led us in song.  The night ended with our St. Joe's group sharing highs and lows.  Many people agreed that the lows were either the showers or certain foods served, and the highs were adjusting to camp life easily and having a great first work day.
-Hannah Schwartz and Maggie Tulay

Tuesday 6/20/2017
We woke up at 6:30 am, got ready for the day then went to breakfast. After breakfast we had Mass and then after Mass we all headed to our work sights. After arriving at the sight we started with a lot of priming. In between we had lunch. For lunch we had turkey sandwiches. After lunch we then started priming in the house.  Then at 3 we all returned to the middle school that we are staying at. For dinner we had tacos cause of taco Tuesday. After dinner we had program at 7. Following the program we ended the night with adoration. Furthermore, after adoration and highs and lows were done we got kitchen patrol which wasn't fun after taco Tuesday. 
~Kaitlyn Hoffmann 

Wednesday 6/21/2017
We were up bright and early this morning and had breakfast followed by daily mass. We eagerly headed out to our work sites to continue with our third day of service. At this point, we're really seeing a lot of progress on our projects which is so fulfilling and fun! My group cleaned up the yard of the Habitat for Humanity office and stained the deck while another group inside worked on painting the inside of the house. This office is in a little house which will be soon given to a family through the Habitat for Humanity organization. We were a bit concerned going into today because there is so much work to be done, however by lunchtime today our spirits were high as the progress unfolds and our teams come together to get so much done! After lunch we continued to work and are looking forward to tonight's program which is called "Four Corners" which includes Reconciliation, writing letters to ourselves, and receiving spiritual guidance from adult leaders. After an amazing night of Adoration last night, we can't wait to see what God will do tonight.
-Katie Turner & Meg Fletcher 

Team 16 Reflection (Kaitlyn, Maggie, Hannah, Mackenzie and Sami plus others from around the country):

As the week went on, we got to know each other much better and had a lot of fun together. We learned a lot of new things; things about painting and cleaning, and things about each other. We loved talking about after-high school plans and which Hogwarts house we'd be in. We connected over books and TV shows we've seen, and how to say words like "bagel, soda/pop, rags" and with all our different accents. The biggest debate was over what we call that thing you drink water out of in public...we of course know it's called a drinking fountain but others like to call it a "bubbler" or a "water fountain."

Being with people from across the country has allowed us to grow in many ways. We have enjoyed working and serving others immensely and have grown in our ability to appreciate what we have. Hannah also adds that she understands why people hire painters now :)  

youth mission 2016

Oklahoma City, OK

Sunday, 6/19/16
Today we arrived in Oklahoma around 11:30. The bus ride went well but we got minimal sleep. Once we got to the high school we got settled into our rooms and had time to look around. We went to the opening program and shortly after received our work sites and groups for the week. We also had the opportunity to get to know our groups a little more with bonding activities. After activities with our groups, we went to evening mass/ praise and worship. Mass was great and we loved the priest! So far we have had a quality time and can’t wait for the rest of the week!! Hope everything is going well at home.

Love Margaret and Elizabeth

Monday, 6/20/2016
Today we began the day by going to mass. Shortly after, we met with our groups and headed to our work sites around Oklahoma City. Our site is a set of homes belonging to a local Catholic Church. Sister Maria, the leader of the organization GOLD, is in charge of taking care of elderly from around the area who are in their last stage of life. Throughout the day we talked with the residents, painted trim on the garage, and tiled the floor. With all of the work needed to be done, Sister Maria made it a priority to focus on prayer and the “heart” work of the mission. We were able to hear stories of the residents and their past. Annabelle, a resident living at the home, told our group this was one of the most exciting things that has happened in a while and enjoyed our company. In midafternoon a group of parishioners gathered by a possible abortion clinic near our worksite. We (see Jennifer and Anna, bottom left in photo) all sat on the corner of a busy street and prayed the rosary in four different languages in hopes to prevent the abortion clinic from opening.  Holding signs while leading a decade of the rosary helped me to recognize the Catholic church is united as one. We just ate dinner and are heading off to program where we will sing songs, watch skits, and reflect on the jobs God has given us this week.

~Jennifer Busho and Anna Kessler

Tuesday, 6/21/16
Today we woke up at 6 AM to a wonderful song about tacos raining from the sky, needless to say it was not a fan favorite. As we trudged down to breakfast half asleep, we were greeted by a cheerful camp leader who was very VERY excited for the French toast being served.  Caden and I have no critiques to give on the French toast at this time, as we did not eat any.   After breakfast we went and celebrated the Eucharist with the other 200+ campers and Father Roy Lee out of Atlanta, Georgia. Father Roy’s personality and energy is making the church experience here exciting and really makes us all look forward to Mass every day. 

 After Mass, Caden and I headed to our worksites for another day of hard work in 99 degree weather.   Currently my group and I have been fixing up a house.   So far we’ve cut the grass, weeded, scraped paint, and cut down trees.   We are hoping to finish painting the exterior of the house in the next two days.  Caden and his team helped build the structure of a house for habitat for humanity today.  It was a lot of work, but really fun learning how to build a house.  The heat was crazy especially because of the lack of shade.  Also, Joan Yambing was insane with a hammer.   After a hard day’s work, we enjoyed eating tacos on “Taco Tuesday”.  We sang happy birthday to Paige Perreira  and Mike, our bus driver, both were really surprised! .  Now we are pumped for the dance party coming up at seven and further worshipping God through adoration soon after!

~ Nick Guden and Caden Hill

Wednesday, 6/22/16
Today is our third workday at CHWC and getting out of bed was definitely more difficult than the previous days. However, we were all looking forward to daily mass and Father Lee kept us engaged with his energetic homily. It was a hot one at the worksites with the temperature soaring to 99 degrees. Sweat was dripping off every worker as they worked hard on the second to last day of serving. Our showers were well-deserved and we enjoyed resting before dinner. We had chicken patties, green beans and potatoes for dinner – mediocre at best. We are looking forward to tonight’s program which is called Four Corners. It is an opportunity to receive Reconciliation, discuss with adult leaders on a personal level, write letters to ourselves, or simply reflect and pray. Last night the dance party was fun, but we were all surprised at how powerful Adoration was. All 250 campers collectively worshiped in the chapel in the presence of the Lord and it was an unforgettable experience. Overall, the experience is very impactful for everyone here, including the adult leaders. It has been exciting to get to know people from other churches and we are looking forward to finishing our projects tomorrow!

~ Jenny Scheffel and Angela Bodine

Thursday, 6/23/2016

We started off the morning with the usual early wake up call; needless to say it was unenjoyable.  We then went to daily mass with the energetic, insightful, and passionate Father Lee.  He has somehow made his way into our hearts with his “rhythmic” clapping skills and somehow managing to fall over at the end of every mass.  Father Lee’s homily connected Mother Teresa, Nike’s slogan “Just Do It”, and the wedding at Cana miracle (only Father Lee).

I (Molly Schaubroeck) experienced so much love and happiness from the people of Oklahoma, especially the wonderful children and adults I worked with at Easter Seals (a daycare center for those with disabilities and also those who do not). After playing with action figures all morning, I had to say a very emotional good bye to the children I have gotten to know throughout the week. The adult day care was filled with card games and laughter until our day came to end.  Many hugs and good byes were shared with the people who have stolen my heart and will always be in my memory.

 I (Andrea Holtz) volunteered at Urban Mission this week.  It is a type of food bank in which people can essentially grocery shop with their own cart in the store for free.  In the mornings my team stocked the shelves and it was mind blowing to see how much food was taken from the previous day. In the afternoon we walked customers around and helped them pick out and bag their groceries. Some of the people I worked with only spoke Spanish, and as I tried to manage by speaking a broken Spanglish at best, I realized just how fortunate I am. I saw so many kind and humble hearts in such despair this week and I have been touched by serving them.

As first year campers we got to experience something that we never could have imagined. Catholic Heart Workcamp has made a lasting impact on our lives, and we hope to take this enlarged passion for service and our faith back to Rosemount. See you tomorrow!

-Andrea Holtz and Molly Schaubroeck

Take a minute and read the following reflections on how the trip impacted students who attended previous Youth Mission Trips.

Mission Trip 2015 Updates

It would be an understatement to say this mission trip has been one of the most amazing weeks I have been involved in for a long time. Not only did I get to spend my 17th birthday with some of the most fun-loving people, but I also got to encourage and give hope to one of the missing members of our parish: Paige Schaffer. Although most people at the camp did not hear about Paige’s story until Tuesday morning, the entire work camp got together and prayed to give her hope and lift her spirits. Needless to say, we all did. Stories like these are why I choose to participate in these kinds of experiences. At many points during the week, a couple hundred people come together from across the country to gather in worship and service. Catholic Heart Work Camp does a great job of separating parishes into small groups to complete jobs such as painting a house, staining a deck, building ramps, working with children, and even painting a parking lot. No matter what each job entails, everyone finishes within the week. It’s the hard work ethic and teamwork of the ones who participate in this camp that  has made this experience so successful. –Jamie Radosevich

Despite being the largest group at the camp, our mission trip team is one short. Paige Shaffer was recently diagnosed with leukemia and was unable to make the trip with us. The adult leaders in our group let the Catholic Heart Work Camp employees know about Paige’s situation and they ended up going above and beyond to do something about it. Her favorite color is bright orange and the plan was for everyone at the camp to try to wear orange for her and create a large letter “P” in the street with everyone. The “P” stood for both Paige and Prayer. It was amazing to see the entire camp come together for her. The majority of people here had never met Paige, but in a matter of a few hours was able to really support with all their hearts. Moments like this are one of just the few reasons coming on this mission trip has been a wonderful experience.  -Cody Schultz

team paige

Our second full camp was packed with many activities.  In the morning, we hosted Mass, some members of the team served as acolytes, readers, and Eucharistic ministers.  It was a beautiful day to work and many of the groups had fun, hard working, rewarding days.  Groups of students from many states were able to connect with both each other and the resident they were helping while learning valuable skills in working and communicating.  - Cody Schultz

Today, everyone set out to their worksites. Various students took on painting, childcare, wood chopping, building, and other projects. The slight drizzle didn’t hinder our serving of Christ today!It was especially great getting to meet the residents and establish relationships with them!Despite the rainy weather, a lot was achieved today. The first day can be a little hard, but everyone powered through!    -Maria Hayes

After a seven-hour drive in a large bus, we finally arrived to CHWC. For me, it was weird being back in a high school again, but I knew that this was the setting for the best week of my summer. We got introduced to the priest and the carpenter commandos, readily immersing ourselves into the camp lifestyle. We ate some fabulous lasagna, and went to a night mass. Then, after many loud card games and laugh sessions, I finally settled to sleep. It was a great travel day to Fremont, Nebraska. - Maria Hayes

mission team on the road

Pray for the Youth Mission Team as they
travel to fremont, nebraska
July 5 - 10, 2015

2015 mission team

JULY 19 - 26, 2014

2014 mission team
2015 Youth Mission Trip 

Please pray for our mission team of 44 high school students and 9 chaperones
will be traveling to Fremont, Nebraska, July 5th-11th, 2015.


"Catholic HEART Workcamp 2015 wants to help AMPLIFY your Catholic faith. Live a life of service that raises an extraordinary sound to make Christ known! AMPLIFY your faith, be a voice for the poor and for all people in need. Join us to AMPLIFY, increase, boost and magnify love, kindness and generosity! When we choose to “love the Lord our God with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves,” we AMPLIFY God’s truth and justice in the world.

Get AMPED with CHWC this summer!"

 Click HERE to learn more about Catholic HEART Workcamp.

Lead chaperones:  Dale Carlson  651-322-7070 or Marie Hoffman 952-322-4357

Take a minute and read the following reflections on
how the trip impacted students who attended last year's 2014 trip:

Alex Duffy: "Going to Charleston, South Carolina this year was my third mission trip.  In South Carolina I had the pleasure to work all week with three of my fellow friends on the Mission Team.  Jack Kessler, Andrew Smeed, Isaac Adams, and myself worked at an abused livestock non-profit farm.  There they take in abused livestock, mainly being horses, and bring them back to health to then put up for adoption.  At the site we did many miscellaneous things like moving horse corals along with a big project that took us the last two days.  On these last two days we worked together to repair a bunkhouse in one of the pastures.  We got a rude awakening while working when 5 horses surrounded the four of us.  Despite the disruptions from the horses trying to eat our tools we finished the bunkhouse.  Every year I go on this trip, I learn more and more about my self and my faith.  We are all just little mustard seeds, but give us time and we will grow.  The more people we touch and the communities we help not only help the people we serve, but in return they help us grow by seeing the power of God in the people we touch.  A final thanks again to anyone who helped make the trip possible and a very big thank you to all of the adult leaders who planed out another amazing trip."

Cathering Guden: "I went to South Carolina expecting to work hard on a project all week and leaving feeling satisfied with what our group had accomplished. I had no idea that I would meet someone who would inspire me to live my life without holding anything back. On Monday morning when we first arrived we stepped out of the car to see a worn house with dirt covering the yard. I walked up to the door and knocked. Almost immediately an elderly gentleman, who we would come to know as Robert, flashed a huge smile and exclaimed "Are you here to fix my house?" He then proceeded to embrace each member of our group in a huge hug. Every day that week I would sit down with Robert and listen as he told me stories about his family as well as the many struggles he had encountered during his life. The loss he had experienced was often a theme in our conversations, but the love he has in his heart despite the hardships is astounding. At the end of our discussions he would always say to me "You have a kind heart and a smart brain and you will do great things." Having someone who was a practically a stranger believe in me so much is something that forever changed me. I will always treasure the time I was able to spend with Robert and I am thankful for the opportunities I was given on this mission trip.

Jeannaej Yambing: "My last Youth Mission Trip was a wonderful experience. During the week we celebrated Mass every morning, listening to Fathers Geoff’s homilies were insightful and relatable. Everyday working at several worksites and getting to know other kids from other cities was exhausting, yet fun. Evening Programs were my personal favorite part of the day. It would begin with an energetic portion of the night, like a dance party, and then move to a more serious part of the night, like Adoration and Reconciliation. Personally, this Mission Trip has been very eye opening experience looking into myself and my faith. This was a great week making new friends, serving God with great love, and letting my faith grow like a mustard seed."

Cody Schultz:  "All four days that we worked throughout the mission trip, my group worked at Wilhamenia Frazier's home. Mrs. Frazier is an elderly woman who lives alone and her house was in rough shape.  My group went to her house expecting a quick paint job, but we got so much more.  For four days we worked non stop.  We scraped and painted her house, cleaned her gutters and roof, and trimmed her grass and hedges.  When we finished, Mrs. Frazier came outside to look at her "new" home.  She was so overcome with what we were able to accomplish that she began to cry.  It was inspiring to hear her stories of living through segregation and other tales of her life.  I am so glad I choose to go on the mission trip because I learned so much while I was in Charleston."

Joan Yambing: "Throughout the week in hot, humid Charleston, I was a part of an amazing group of people from around the country who had a hunger fro God's love. I was in group 49 who alongside group 48 helped scrape and repaint the entire exterior and porch area of our lovely resident Ms. Celestine. Ms. Celestine is a very soft spoken person but each afternoon for prayer her voice would carry out and ring "God bless you. Thank you, Thank you". I've never truly witnessed the immense power God's love until I saw her gratefulness for the work that we were providing. I cannot count the many wonderful memories I've had on this trip but I feel absolutely blessed to have been part of this life-changing experience."

John Herron: "We went into this mission trip not knowing what to expect; This was the Church’s first time with this mission trip organization (Catholic Heart Work Camp) and I, on my third mission trip through St. Joes, was curious as to what this trip would entail.  What we found was an amazing experiencing that blended a morning mass, a full day of service to the people of Charleston, and an impactful and amazing faith program in the evening.  I was moved by how grateful a particular resident was when we helped repair his porch stairs- he treated us like we had just gave him a million dollars.  Serving the less fortunate makes you truly appreciate how blessed you are and is an experience where you “get so much more than you give.” The other members and I grew stronger in our faith and relationship with God through the powerful videos, homilies, performances, and speakers that we were blessed to see.  As a group ( just our parish mission trip team), the 1-2 hour group session each night brought us together as friends and disciples of God.  This trip was life changing and the best week of my summer, and I’m sure the other youth members would say the same thing if you asked them. -Thank you and God Bless."

The Youth Mission Team will be serving the Charleston community
thru the  Catholic Heart Workcamp

 "Beautiful Mess: It is. We Are"
"The world is messy as it is beautiful and as beautiful as it is messy.  We are surrounded by God's beauty in creation, and life's blessings, yet there is so much pain, injustice and poverty that exists simultaneously.  Likewise, as human beings we were designed and created in God's image for goodness yet we recognize we all have our own messes in our lives.  The beauty lies in the truth that God's love is constant despite any mess. Service to others requires us to get messy not just
physically, with dirty hands, cement splashed shoes and paint stained clothes.  Services is also about listening to the stories of others, being emotionally involved and then, without judgement, loving and caring as Christ.
It Is.  We Are.  A Beautiful Mess."