Story and Photos by Eli Woodvine, Parish Secretary and High School Faith Formation Facilitator, Our Lady of the Angels
Two Alaskan parishes served by the OMI joined two other parishes from the Archdiocese of Anchorage to have fun and make a difference! On July 13, 2014, fourteen teens and seven chaperones from the Oblate parishes of Our Lady of the Angels in Kenai, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Soldotna, joined with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Anchorage to board the M/V Kennicott Ferry on route to Kodiak, AK. In Kodiak, they joined forces with fourteen teens and Father Frank Reitter from St. Mary’s Church.
Brother Victor Manuel Patricio-Silva, OMI had just arrived in Alaska for a month, and was able to participate in the week long mission trip. Brother Victor Manuel was a great asset and role model for our teens.
The Mission Trip consisted of Leadership Workshops in the morning , Service Projects in the afternoon, and evening mass to wrap up the day. During the Leadership Workshops the youth learned about what it takes to be a leader. We participated in team activities that required leadership and team work. We learned about the Myers-Briggs personality test and how to work with people of different personalities. We had guest speakers from the Rotary Club and the US Navy SEALs. We served one another by washing each other’s feet. During mass, the youth served as Altar Servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and music!
In the afternoon, Fr. Frank Reitter kept us busy with projects around St. Mary’s School and Church. The youth designed and painted a mural on a “Fry Shack”, designed and built a Rosary Walk, painted official lines on the basketball court, four square and hop scotch. We stained the front and back decks of the school. We power washed and painted several buildings.
After a week of hard work, on July 18th, 2014 fourteen teens and seven chaperones boarded the M/V Tustamena Ferry on route to the Kenai Peninsula to make a difference at home! We are grateful for the support of our parishes, St. Mary’s hospitality, and appreciate all the dinners from St. Mary’s and work that Fr Reitter did to make this mission a success!