Rorate Caeli

Update from the FSSP on annual mission trip

For the past few years, we have worked with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) to fundraise for and update our readers on their annual mission trip to Peru. An FSSP seminarian has sent us this update on their latest trip:

St. Francis Xavier Mission Trip

By Christopher Mahowald FSSP

This year marked the 3rd annual SaintFrancis Xavier Mission Trip with the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and the 2nd trip to Piura, Peru. 3 priests, 5 seminarians, 4 chaperones, and 33 young adults from the United States made the trip south of the Equator. Piura is city in the northern desert region of Peru, about an hour by car from the Pacific coast and about just as far from the southern border of Ecuador. 
We stayed at the mission church of Santisimo Sacramento, a parish with upwards of 40,000 Catholics and about 12 pueblos (villages) within its boundaries. The Parish Priest at the mission is a Notre Dame graduate from Oklahoma by the name of Fr. Joseph Uhen. Fr Uhen has been a missionay priest in Peru for 21 years now and has built up an impressive organization. He spent 2 years with the Missionaries of Charity working directly under Blessed Mother Teresa. She inspired him to devote his life to the service of the poor which would eventually lead him to serve in Piura. At the parish he established prenatal clinic that offers free ultrasounds and help for young mothers or women who cannot afford a doctor's care. He assembled a top-notch staff of social workers and laborers who have devoted their whole lives to the service of others. With their help he also a established a family sponsoring program which allows people from the United States to “adopt” a Peruvian family providing them all of the basic needs of the family; food, clothing, bedding, housewares, kitchen supplies, even for home repairs or new homes. The parish has also made a shelter for young women, some of whom have been abused, abandoned, or orphaned, or have made bad decisions and have nowhere else to go. They have also established schools, a hospice for those who have no one to care for them, as well as a rehab center for young men who are trying to rebuild their lives after addiction. They work very closely with a nearby orphanage as well as girls school both of which are run by religious sisters.
These are the various works that we helped out with. Our young men and women help in the clinic, the schools, the orphanages, delivering food and housewares to families, building/fixing homes and taking care of the sick and elderly at the hospice. More specifically, our primary work in all of our labors is to bring the love of Christ to those to whom we serve and to find Christ in them. This is the heart of our efforts, to serve Christ Who lives in our neighbor.
In addition to these virtuous works, there is more that we as members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter offer; we also bring them the traditional liturgy and sacraments of the Church. This is an important part of our work there. We bring with us the mass that the first Spanish missionaries brought with them in the early 16th century when they first converted Peru to the Church. This sacred liturgy was the center of the Faith for these Incan converts for centuries, and we strive to make it so once again. With 3 priests accompanying us we are able to offer solemn high masses in places that have not had such masses in over 60 years, maybe even ever. In addition to offering masses for the Peruvian people, our priests, accompanied by our young adults, make sick calls, house blessings, and bring our Lord in Holy Communion to shut-ins. In these humble bamboo and tin homes of Peru's shut-ins, our Lord is received with so much love and devotion that you almost forget that you're still on this side of Heaven. Such experiences touch the soul and inspire one lead a holy life. We go there hoping to make a difference, but I know that we receive so much more than we can ever give. We are enriched by their poverty and strengthened by their devotion. 
This was our 2nd mission trip to Piura and we hope to continue this on a more permanent basis, but we are always in need of your help. If you would be interested in helping this worthy cause by applying, donating, or with your prayers, just visit our website for more details, We accept young men and women from the ages of 16 – 21, and we are always in need of chaperones who would be willing to come and help us in this apostolic work. May God bless you and keep you close to His most Sacred Heart.

Rorate note: To read more about the missions or to donate, click here.