The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter through its apostolate known as Saint Francis Xavier Missions, has sponsored mission trips to Latin America over the last three years. The first trip was to the Dominican Republic and for the past two years they have traveled to Piura Peru. Piura is isolated in the northern part of the country in the middle of a desert. The purpose of these missions are for young traditional Catholics to leave their familiar surroundings and come face to face with poverty and suffering, develop a love for the poor, and to be able to practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The young people who are between the ages of 16 and 21 are accompanied by priests and seminarians of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. They forge lifetime friendships with their fellow Catholics from North America as well as the local Faithful whom they have come to minister to. South America is overrun with various American protestant sects that send so called ”missionaries” vying with each other to tempt the local Catholics to apostasy. These young Catholics literally are walking in the shoe prints of the first Spanish missionaries, and are carrying the exact same Faith and the exact same liturgy to the natives as was experienced 500 years ago.
The group usually consists of around 30-40 young adults who are bunked 4 to 5 in a room. They have 3 meals a day provided for as well as (sometimes hot) showers and everything they need for their stay. The missionaries have constant access to priests, confessions, Holy Mass, Divine Office, rosary, daily spiritual talks and other devotions. There is time for personal spiritual direction and of course plenty of time to socialize and have fun. This however is not a vacation. It is hard work that can exhaust you. The group is split up every morning and afternoon and given an assignment. These are dictated by the needs of the local Catholics and the destitute people who live in the outlying villages. They are varied and include, sick and communion calls, building houses, deliver food, bless homes, teaching religion, prolife work, hospice and orphanage work, etc. The missionaries carry the traditional Faith to remote villages and restore the Mass in the temples built by the Spanish centuries ago specifically for this Mass. The trip ends in Lima, with visits to shrines and the relics of Peru’s 5 canonized saints.
The next mission trip scheduled for Peru is from July 28 through August 10th, however there has been such an outpouring of interest from adults who are older than 21, that the FSSP has added a second trip from August 14 through the 24thjust for this age group. If you are interested in going, please visit the mission’s web site for the requirements to apply to go on one of these trips. It is not too early to consider applying for next year and begin your fundraising now to pay for your trip. For information about upcoming trips visit: http://sfxmission.com/
Judge J. D. Rasnick, is president of Una Voce Georgia