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  Diocese of Joliet to resume international missions in January

The Diocese of Joliet will resume its international mission program in January with a  two-week trip to the Philippines focused on medical care and construction.

This will be the first international mission for the diocese’s Partnership in Mission office since January 2020, shortly before the World Health Organization in March 2020 declared the spread of the coronavirus a global pandemic.

Bruce Carslon, missions coordinator, said the two-week trip leaving the United States on Jan. 28 and returning on Feb. 12 will revisit the city of Borongan on the island of Samar in the Philippines. Carlson noted the site is one of the poorest areas in the Philippines and hosts a regional, government-run hospital that is poorly staffed for the low-income patients who often travel eight hours to get needed medical care.

“A mission trip of this type to a developing country expands your mind to see God in action,” Carlson said. “You come back a changed person.”

Carlson is recruiting a variety of medical personnel, including surgeons – general, plastic, orthopedic, gynecological, pediatric, and ear-nose-and-throat – along with operating room, recovery room and staff nurses. He also needs a diversity of physicians, including family practitioners, pediatricians, internists, and emergency room doctors, as well as dentists.

He is also looking for individuals willing to help local area families with construction work that uses the simplest of tools out of respect for the people and their customs.

Participants – called missioners – stay at a local hotel. Mass is celebrated ever morning at the hospital, after which the mission teams move to their assignment for the day: surgery, dentistry, general health care, construction or community outreach headed up by the local order of religious sisters.

The Partnership in Mission office will hold an informational meeting on the mission trip at 7 p.m. on Thurs., July 15 at the Blanchette Catholic Center, 16555 Weber Road, Crest Hill, Illinois. Further information and applications for the trip may be found at http://bit.ly/missionsapplsite, or by emailing missions@dioceseofjoliet.org, or calling 815-221-6256.

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