MADISON -- This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Latin American Mission Program (LAMP), which was started in 1964 by Bishop Jerome Hastrich. He was auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Madison at that time.
The volunteers who went to Mexico this summer included Noah and Zach Chappell, Madison; Pat Crabtree, Edgerton; Joan Curtin-Peyer, Reedsburg; M. Catherine Desmond, Watertown; Mike Donahue, Stoughton; Donald Gostomski, Madison; Dennis and Rita Kehoe, East Troy; Kathy Larson, Sandwich, Ill.; Patricia Leahy, Shullsburg; Briana Montgomery, Cottage Grove; Mary Olszewski, Watertown; Theresa Racanelli, Jefferson; Mary Schaller, Verona; and Tom Scott, Beloit.
There were three teaching teams: one group worked in the Colonia Tres Rios and the Colonia Las Rusias in Matamoros; another worked with Fr. Jesus Benito Rivera Ojeda in Anahuac and San Jose; and another worked with Fr. Jose Carmelo Flores at the mission of Centenario in Villareal.
At Tres Rios in Matamoros, the LAMP volunteers worked with children in catechism lessons and arts and crafts projects.
"Tres Rios was a very poor colonia," said Mary Schaller, executive secretary for LAMP, in her report. "We had our mission in a small, cement block building and we bought two small tables to take with us for working on crafts, etc. We also painted the building and had lots of young, enthusiastic people helping with the painting."
"The ladies of Tres Rios invited us to their humble homes for a tasty lunch every day. How nice!" said LAMP volunteers Rita and Dennis Kehoe.
During the second week of the mission trip, the group worked in Las Rusias.
"Instead of a few little benches, we had dozens of pews, with electricity for fans and a restroom and big tables," said the Kehoes. "After the daily siesta, a great Mexican tradition, we had our English class for beginners of all ages" at the Casa de San Martin in Matamoros.
Schaller said the Casa de San Martin really looked nice this year after the April painting work mission. Some of the cots had been replaced and the rooms looked very inviting.
"The new caretaker, Guillermina, is a very nice lady, and we enjoyed her company and help very much," said the Kehoes. Full story ...
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