Fr Gerard Bernier and the Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Carapichaima community recently hosted 20 university students from Minnesota State University.
The group belongs to the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), a national outreach to colleges and universities throughout the United States. Founded in 1998 by Curtis Martin, FOCUS is working to play a vital role in the new evangelisation.
The group spent an entire week at the parish. Each morning they commenced their day with Mass celebrated by Fr Bernier and Fr Jason, their spiritual director, on the trip. They then visited all the Catholic schools in the parish: Todd’s Road, Caparo, Chickland and Carapichaima. They also visited Presentation College in San Fernando.
They spent quality time at each school interacting with the pupils using sports as their main avenue as part of their mission. Varsity Catholic Mission camps provide an extremely unique opportunity to bring faith and sport together to serve impoverished and less fortunate youths around the globe.
These trips (missions) are designed for student-athletes; they include hosting and facilitating a sports camp while sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They exposed pupils to football, tennis, a variety of ball games and hockey, the favourite among all the games.
Pupils at the various schools were really excited about this opportunity and willingly participated in all the events to which they were exposed. The university students also achieved their goal of showing pupils how to glorify God in sports and in their daily lives. – Rosemarie Siewnarine