The following is an excerpt from the Lancers in Lima blog, which will be updating readers as students from Notre Dame in Fairfield travel on their first international mission trip to Lima, Peru.
Happy July 8th! This will forever be the anniversary of Notre Dame’s first international mission trip. This day was inevitable: we are a school that believes service is integral to the Christian life. “Be Imitators of Christ.”
Over the years, Lancers have logged over 30k hours of service making and serving food, teaching and tutoring students, visiting the elderly, cleaning and gardening, and doing a number of deeds around the state and the country (shout out to Appalachia missionaries) building our character, faith and intellect.
Ok, why are we going to Peru? Why do we go to Appalachia, or the soup kitchen, or the inner city school at all? Well, we say, “why not?” If we don’t make haste to follow where He urges us, if we don’t give Him a place to lay His head, we miss a huge part of the whole “Gospel thing”…and if we don’t imitate Him and love others in most need of mercy and compassion, our motto is meaningless, too.
We are going to Peru to paint, build and enhance, sure – but we are going inspired by our motto. To be imitators of Christ. To console hearts with Jesus’ mercy, to look at eyes with His compassion, not only to heal physically or materially, but to enrich spiritually.
We are also going to Peru because character, faith and intellect are central to what ND desires to inspire in our students. These are built through contemplation, reading, writing and especially experience and encounter. We will see parts of history – the stomping grounds of saints and conquistadors. We will pray together, reflect together and participate in the Sacraments. We will likely receive even more than we gave from strangers whose livelihoods and walks of life are entirely different than ours. We will laugh, play and sweat and God willing, we will come back with eyes opened.
Like the blind man Bartemaeus said, “Domine ut videam” – “Lord, that I may see.”
Please pray for our missionaries, and know we are praying for our ND community as well:
Olivia Carriero ’19
Dakota Chavez ’20
Danielle Gilling ’20
Annalee Gaudreau ’19
Sierra O’Keefe ’18
Leanne Onofrio ’19
Francesca Oviedo ’19
Jenna Sabia ’19
Emma Ryder, Chaperone
Jessica Mazal, Coordinator &ND Theology