St. Mary Academy - Bay View Students Return from Mission Trip in Haiti
East Providence, RI - On Saturday, February 2nd, 2019, ten Upper School students from St. Mary Academy - Bay View returned home from a seven-day mission trip to Haiti. The group, which included sophomores, juniors, and seniors were chaperoned by St. Mary Academy - Bay View theology teacher Matthew Daly (Lincoln, RI) and partnered with Mercy Focus on Haiti, a ministry initiative of the Sisters of Mercy of Americas that focuses on the emergent human needs in Haiti.
“It is our goal that through this mission trip our students’ minds and hearts are opened to a world outside their own and to those suffering,” said Daly. “We hope they gain a deeper sense of merciful solidarity with the people of Haiti, to cultivate a deeper faith as they serve others. A lesson you can’t teach from a book.”
During their week in Gros Morne, the students visited with a number of local outreach programs and the girls from Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB), a program that provides housing and educational opportunities for teen girls from the mountains. In addition, they delivered handmade dolls to young children at the Jesu Mari School and painted new gazebo at the Maison Bon Samaritan, a home for the elderly.
During the course of the trip, the students developed a real sense of camaraderie and friendship with the girls from MBB.
Daly also said it was, “rewarding to see the girls process their experience - wrestling with issues of social justice, the abundance of stuff we have in America vs. the lack of necessities in Haiti, and the presence of God in this experience.”
Each night after completing their service work, students were asked to reflect on their experiences, and for many, the trip was truly life-changing.
Currently, St. Mary Academy - Bay View has two mission trips planned for the 2019-2020 academic year. The first will be a trip to the Mustard Seed Communities in Jamaica, the second, a return trip back to Haiti in early 2020.