Volunteers Clear Riverbanks of Rio Grande

By Rose Henry

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Soldotna, Alaska supported our group of seven teens through fund raisers and allowed four chaperones to accompany them on a trip to Mission, Texas. We were hosted in Mission by Our Lady of Guadalupe parish and Fr. Roy Snipes, OMI. Albert Solis was our guide and on site host at Kamp KareluThe group stands infront of Kamp Karelumm on the banks of the Rio Grande.

We spent a week helping to restore and clear the river bank that had been “modified” by a flood several years ago.  We were able to clear and reopen a boat launch and clear brush from a pavilion.

While there we were also treated to a large helping of OMI history and were able to tour several of the original missions and chapels that were outposts for the “Cavalry of Christ.”

We were ble to put a very real face on the problem of refugees from Central America through meeting a teen refugee who passed through our camp. Coming from Alaska and having only read about the difficulties and watching it from our couches on TV, it truly changed our perspectives in many ways.

As always the Texas hospitality was big and broad, Fr. Roy treated us to boat rides down the Rio Grande and prayer service in the historic La Lomita mission chapel.  We were also able to attend a famous mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe that Fr. Andy Sensing, OMI celebrated and the dogs were present, it was quite a treat for our mission group.

Coming from a parish served by the OMI, we are grateful for your service and appreciated the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the rich history of your ministry.