The Catholic University of America

June 15, 2009

30 From CUA Make a "Global" Difference on Mission Trips

Matt Aujero plays a drum with children he ministered to in Belize.

Rising senior Matt Aujero had volunteered in Washington, D.C. He was interested, however, in what kind of a difference he could make globally, so he applied for a summer mission trip through the Office of Campus Ministry. Chosen as one of the CUA students to go on Mission Belize, Aujero says, "I got so much more from the trip than I thought I would."

Aujero said that he especially enjoyed the celebration of Mass in Belize, where he felt a "global connection" with his new friends.

"It was really cool to feel united with Catholics in another part of the world," he said. "I felt really proud to be Catholic and to be part of this universal Church. That was a home away from home - being at Mass."

Approximately 30 Catholic University students and staff leaders returned to the United States earlier this month from mission trips to Belize and Honduras. Nearly 50 students applied for the opportunity to spend two weeks learning about and helping residents of two Central American villages.

One of the other things Aujero said he enjoyed during the trip was "Belize time."

 

CUA students Sal Biase, Ashley Wells and Aujero and Associate Campus Minister Jeff Ossinger sing to a class at St. Peter Clavier School.

"Everything slows down there," he noted. "People hang out on their porches and just talk to each other and spend quality time. I had nowhere else to be but with the people. That gets kind of lost at home because there is so much stimulation. We're wired to computers and cell phones and sometimes we get antsy and don't just sit and have a conversation."

In Belize, students spent one week working at St. Peter Clavier School tutoring children and teaching classes while staying in the homes of local residents. On Mission Honduras, students set aside their mornings doing manual work at schools, homes for children and a housing project for abandoned mothers. In the afternoon, they spent time with the children and families at these locations.

In addition to working while on their missions, students also spent the time leading up to their missions raising money that was donated to the organizations they aided in Belize and Honduras. In spring 2009, Redline a cappella, one of CUA's student singing groups, hosted an invitational concert with other local college groups, raising approximately $1,400.