Mission trip to Chicago a timely one for Augustana College Catholic students

Catholic students from Augustana College in Rock Island are pictured outside a soup kitchen operated by the Missionaries of Charity on the south side of Chicago during their Nov. 18-19 mission trip. They include, front row from left, William Fabyan, Laura Heuermann, Christine Vincent, Ruth Iradukunda, Madison Baxter, Julianna Furlano, and Brian Gueerero; middle, Emily Stelnicki; back row, Father Jeremy Freehill, Catholic ministries coordinator of Augustana College, and Isabelle Bartscher. (Provided photo)

ROCK ISLAND — Laura Heuermann and nine other Catholic students from Augustana College here picked the perfect way to observe the first World Day of the Poor established by Pope Francis — direct service to the poor during an overnight mission trip to Chicago Nov. 18-19.

A freshman from Washington, Heuermann told The Catholic Post she decided to go on her first-ever mission trip to “start expanding my horizons.”

Mission accomplished.

“I learned that the number of poor people that are served on a daily basis exceeded any expectations I previously had,” said Heuermann.

Led by Father Jeremy Freehill, coordinator of Catholic ministries at Augustana, the group stayed with the Missionaries of Charity at their Chicago convent. They joined the Sisters in teaching religious education classes at a local parish, and served meals and performed other supporting tasks at a soup kitchen.

Father Freehill said the students had dinner and socialized with the Sisters at the convent, which adjoins a shelter for women in need.

Heuermann said the dedication of the Sisters is “tremendous” and she was honored to serve alongside them.

Service to the poor, she said, “makes you thankful for what you have, and you feel the Lord working through yourself and those around you. We are called by God to serve the poor,” said Heuermann, adding that the mission trip “helped to strengthen my faith in Christ.”


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