Three high schools make local history with mission trip

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For the first time in 20 years all three city English Catholic high schools are headed on a mission to South America.

The last 19 years St. Joseph's Catholic Secondary School has taken the lead on missions to impoverished communities in places like the Dominican Republic.

But this year St. Joe's is being joined by Holy Trinity and St. Matthew's on a trip to San Jose de Ocoa in the Dominican.

Sr. Terry Ann Wilson, chaplaincy leader at St. Joe's, said having all three schools make the trip will help spread a broader message about helping those in need.

"For years St. Joe's was the only Catholic high school," she said. "And that particular (village) has always been connected to (the Alexandria-Cornwall diocese)...it only makes sense that the three schools would work together and make the trip.

"And it's also a way to bring the schools together."

The purpose of the trip is to build a house in San Jose de Ocoa in March of next year. The mountain village is a prime example of a poor South American community.

"I think it's going to change our view of our community," said Lindsey Levasseur, a Grade 12 student at St. Joe's making the trip. "We are looking forward to feeling what it's like to help someone."

Last year a house was built for a single mother of three. The entire village turned up to help the high school students with the construction.

"We will be very appreciative of Canada and the way we live," said another student heading on the mission, Katherine McDonald. "Not everybody gets to live like we do."

The mission group, which includes 11 students and four staff members, has launched a fundraising campaign to help cover the costs of the trip. Donations can be made trip via the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. The board can be contacted at 1-800-443-4562.

"There's always been a tremendous outpouring of support from the community," said Wilson, who has made the trek south for 19 of the 20 years it has existed.

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  • Tracy Bradley
    November 08, 2012 - 23:06

    This will be an amazing experience. Proud of you all!