Lisa M. Hendey packs her bags for an exciting journey to the Dominican Republic, to see up close the work of the Church being done globally.
I’m excited to share that I’m packing my bags for another exciting journey to see up close the work of the Church being done globally. This time, we will be journeying with Cross Catholic Outreach to a variety of their sites in the Dominican Republic. As on past adventures, I look forward to bringing you along with me and sharing as I go. I will be traveling in the company of Cross Catholic team members as well as other media professionals as we share stories and images from project sites in a variety of cities.
Cross Catholic Outreach is a a 501(c)(3) organization that partners with “bishops, priests, religious and lay workers to provide food, water, housing, education, orphan support, medical care, microenterprise and disaster relief—and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ—to the poorest of the poor in over 30 countries around the world.”
Cross Catholic in the Dominican Republic
Cross Catholic Outreach has served in the Dominican Republic for many years, working alongside in-country ministry partners who serve families in need. There, nearly 1 in 10 people are undernourished. The poorest families live in wood shacks, lack access to clean water and often don’t have flush toilets. The Dominican Republic attracts large numbers of Haitian immigrants who come to cut sugar cane. For these families, the situation feels especially hopeless, as they live at the mercy of harsh employers who exploit their legal status and lack of options.
One of our primary partners is FUNDASEP — the social outreach of the Catholic Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana. This organization was founded by Bishop Jose Grullon Estrella (pictured below) with a vision of working together with the poor and mobilizing them to rise out of poverty. Rather than merely give handouts, FUNDASEP works alongside the communities, teaching them to form work brigades, hold meetings, and take long-term ownership of these water systems. (Source: Cross Catholic Outreach)
Preparing for the Journey
When I travel, I always invite a patron saint to accompany me along my journey. For this trip, I will be traveling with Our Lady of Altagracia, the patroness of the Dominican Republic. Dominicans have a special devotion to a portrait of Mary now enshrined at Basilica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in Higüey. Our Lady of High Grace is known to be beloved by Dominicans both in the Dominican Republic and here in the United States. I cannot wait to learn more about her country and meet her children.
As with any international trip, there are the usual steps to be taken.
Is my passport valid after having a long break during Covid? Yes.
Have I packed the proper medications to keep myself safe and strong while traveling? Yes.
Most importantly, is my heart open to the encounters and adventures that surely await me in this new place? Absolutely, yes!
I have a formal itinerary for the trip and hope to bring you along every step of the way. God and Wi-Fi willing I’ll be sharing daily posts here and on my social media accounts at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Our trip is well-timed during the season of Lent. I hope that what I’m able to share will help you consider including Cross Catholic as a beneficiary of your Lenten almsgiving. I’ll also ask that you pray for this little mission, for those of us traveling, for our hosts in the Dominican Republic, and especially for those being served globally by Cross Catholic Outreach.
Learn more about Cross Catholic:
Copyright 2023 Lisa M. Hendey
Images: copyright 2023 Cross Catholic Outreach, used with permission, all rights reserved; Our Lady of Altagracia photo: Wilfredor, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
About the Author
Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of CatholicMom.com, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at LisaHendey.com or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Visit Lisa's author page on Amazon.com.