Hello from the Ver Sacrum Missionaries!
Welcome to the land of Pendleton, Oregon. If you just thought of a hot, dry desert land of 103 degrees than you’ve got the right picture in your head. However, despite the intense heat, our two camps were a big success! St. Andrew’s mission is a retreat area located on the Indian Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon. Fr. Mike lives at the mission and ministers to the many Indian people who live on the reservation, as well as some other parishioners from the city. It was a beautiful location for camp. There was a large hall for talks, activities, crafts, and meals and lots of outdoor space for games (and sprinklers!). The Church was only a short distance from the hall and we had A/C in our trailer house smile emoticon
At the first camp there were 20 girls who were between the ages of 11-17. Some of the highlights from that camp were our Marian Procession during Mass, a fun movie night (with popcorn of course!), and lots of great talks and discussions. For our second camp, there were 18 girls who were 9-13. These girls were full of energy and enthusiasm! They really enjoyed the dancing night and learning about being “Royal Children.” This group of girls especially bonded together as friends and by the end of camp we were one big family!
Even though there is no shrine in Pendleton or Hermiston (yet), it was beautiful to see how much love the people there have for the Mother Thrice Admirable. Some of the girls traveled up to 5 hours to attend camp and experience the love of our Heavenly Mother. We felt so blessed to be able to meet each girl, learn more about them, and watch them deepen their relationship with Mary.
The Blessed Mother was also at work among the mothers who were helping out at the camps. They are now planning a training weekend for themselves and have exchanged contact information to stay in touch with one another!!
Another great blessing was the wonderful host families who adopted us for the week! We can’t thank them enough for their love and care. They were so generous and hospitable and made sure we always were comfortable and felt right at home. We enjoyed homemade banana bread and strawberry jam, a relaxing night in a hot tub, a trip to the mountain viewpoint and lots of famous Hermiston watermelon. During our free day, they planned a full day of sightseeing so we could get a true experience of Oregon. One of our adventures took us to the SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture and Energy) Center, where we learned about the agriculture at the interactive visitor center. It was so much fun to learn about this new state and all that they have to offer.
Please continue to keep us and the mission in your prayers. Everything has been amazing so far and we know that we could not accomplish any of this without the spiritual support! Many many thanks! Know that you are all in our prayers as well.