Our Lady of Mount Carmel Missionaries formed in 2011 as a group of young adults who volunteered to do a year of fundraising and faith formation in preparation for their first visit to the Mustard Seed Communities (orphanages) in Managua and Diriamba, Nicaragua.
In the past 9 years, through the generosity of OLMC parishioners, the missionaries have brought thousands of pounds of donated supplies to orphanages in Nicaragua and Jamaica. The missionaries have also contributed thousands of man-hours to help expand Mustard Seed Orphanages by assisting the local workers with construction projects.
Without a doubt, the work is gratifying! However, interacting with the children at each orphanage at the end of a long work day is the most rewarding part of the trip for these young adults. The experience has been life-changing!
Changed For Good
One of the themes for the group reflection this past year has been “changed for good.” When a young person begins the process of preparing for this mission trip, the assumption is that the residents of the orphanages that Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish visits are the ones that change for the better. Truth be told however, it is the missionaries themselves that are formed the most. While we accomplish an incredible amount of good through our service efforts, the missionary teens come back from this trip changed for their entire lives. We provide the material necessities for the residents that are in such great need, and they provide us with life lessons of joy and fellowship which cannot be found anywhere else.
As with all mission trips, various monies must be raised to allow these youth the opportunity to discover what hundreds of others have experienced over the last nine years. The parish must raise a minimum of 2000 dollars per youth and chaperone to pay for airfare and resources for the orphanages that we visit. The total cost amounts to roughly 50,000 dollars.
Through our various collective fundraising activities, it is our hope that a youth of any means may be able to participate in the trip.
If you would like to make a donation to make this mission work possible, please contact Fr. Zinno at the parish office.
Mustard Seed Communities
Partnership with the Mustard Seed Communities makes all of these endeavors possible. Founded in 1978, they have cared for the most vulnerable of society, especially disabled and abandoned children. They are a nonprofit organization that is vetted by several charity accountability groups to ensure that monies donated are used primarily for programming and not administrative expenses.
Learn more about the Mustard Seed Communities here.