St. Annes Convent

Mr. Patric Pordon, a lay man had organised a 'mission trip' under the instructions of Fr. George Palliparambil, the Regional Superior of USA. It's for the young people and the purpose of it was helping the young people to be the 'missionaries in their own country'.

Fifteen were ready at the beginning of the preparation for the 'mission trip' and at the end eight young people with four adults had made the 'mission trip' to New York from Detroit from 30th July to 5th August 2017. Fr. Shanthi Chacko Puthussery had accompanied them and it was an 'eye opening' experience for him in USA after working with the young people in Papua New Guinea almost for seventeen years.

After a day of journey by the road we arrived at New York on 30th evening and we prepared our place of accommodation and dinner. After the dinner Mr. Patric explained the timetable and other logistics of the week. We had a bit of reflection and prayer before we went to bed.

The primary task of the trip was painting an old Convent building which could be used for the parish activities such as recollection, retreat and other catechetical formation programs. It's a three storeys' building with several rooms, Chapel, conference hall, etc. , within the area of New York township.

These young people were very enthusiastic and did painting from 9 am to 3 pm from Monday to Thursday. It's a bit of tedious job but voluntarily each one did his/her task very well. They were truly generous with their energy, time, skills, availability and hard work.

"Many of us live in cultures in which seeking help from others is frowned upon and viewed as weakness. We are told we should be able to go it alone and we define strength as one’s ability to do everything themselves. It should become readily apparent that this type of thinking is diametrically opposed to Catholic thought. First, we are created to be completely dependent on God. Second, He gave us the Church, His Mystical Body, as a guide on the journey. Third, within the Mystical Body are our fellow sojourners on the path to holiness. We are meant to walk together." This was our opening and introductory reflection of the 'mission trip' and everyday morning and evening we had moments of reflections, prayers, time to be in silence, journal writings and other entertainment activities.

Love and obedience through Ten Commandments had presented to the participants. Task, risk, sacrifice and prayer were the constitutive components of one's vocation and through the analysis and synthesis of the 'mission trip' each participant could reflect deeply about his/her own vocation. On Tuesday evening after the visit to the museum of the city of New York we spent time at the Central Park saying a Rosary. On Friday we visited New York City Library, walked around at Time Square and spent time at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

As we return to our living place from the city on Friday, we had a closing Eucharistic Celebration followed by the dinner. Prior to the Holy Mass every one received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We did the preparation for our return journey to Detroit for the following day and for the conclusion of the 'mission trip' we had moments of thanksgiving with the Blessed Sacrament. It was truly a 'mission trip'!

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