By Sydney Roux
This March, Charlotte Catholic High School is conducting a mission trip to New Orleans to help rebuild houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The students will be working with an organization called Catholic Mission Trips.
For the past several years, CCHS has sent mission groups to the Missionaries of the Poor headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, over spring break. Because of the Zika virus, the school was unable to send students to Jamaica this year.
Catholic Mission Trips started with Steve Nasche, a Youth Director for a Catholic Parish, fifteen years ago in Allen, Texas. He wanted to do a mission trip to let American youth experience the culture and spirituality of Mexico, as well as assist the people by building homes, chapels, and schools. More and more parishes joined and so began the concept of Catholic Mission Trips. This organization plans and handles all the logistics, leaving parish groups to simply sign up. They have been a part of mission trips to Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Haiti, Belize, Dominican Republic, South Texas, New Mexico, Joplin, and New Orleans.
Generally, each volunteer will pay his or her own way for the trip, but some money has also been raised for the trip through fundraisers such as dress down days and car washes. Roughly forty-five to fifty students are expected to attend the trip, as well as six to seven teacher and parent chaperones. They will depart on March 20th and stay two blocks from the French Quarter in a volunteer shelter, sponsored by Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. At the church, volunteers and chaperones will attend holy masses during holy week.
The last day of their stay, Friday, March 25, will serve as a free day on which everyone will be allowed to go to the French Quarters to shop for souvenirs and gifts Afterwards, they will ride back to Charlotte.