Sister Parish Ministry

Rolf Engmann

Purpose: The Sister Parish Ministry at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church seeks to achieve spiritual growth and discovery through service to poor communities in the Dominican Republic by way of a solidarity- based partnership with a materially poor local Catholic parish. Together with members of our sister parish, the Ministry serves the residents of several communities of Haitian descendants who are truly among the poorest of the world’s poor, occupying little more than single-room tin roofed shacks with dirt floors and no electricity, running water or sanitation facilities. Food, potable water, clothing, medicine, and work are in extraordinarily short supply or even absent. The Ministry works to provide access to schools for small children, medical care for young and old alike, housing and small, modest chapels for the celebration of Mass.  Mission and volunteer opportunities include:

Medical Missions: The Ministry fields three medical missions each year, generally occurring over long holiday weekends in January, May, and September.  Medical professionals and lay volunteers work together to provide medical support to more than four  hundred patients each trip, people who medical needs would likely otherwise go unmet.

Youth Missions:  Several youth missions are scheduled each year, including the Palmer Academy Club 4:12 mission trip for eighth graders and the St. Joseph’s Academy mission trip for high school juniors and seniors.  The Youth Ministries of Our Lady Star of the Sea and other area parishes have also organized mission trips with the Sister Parish Ministry.

Family Missions: Each summer and fall several family missions have been organized by interested parishioners in a grass roots type fashion. Sister Parish Ministry hosts the missions, providing the local service programs and local transportation.

Events/Programs: The Sister Parish Ministry holds monthly meetings usually on the third Monday evening of each month where upcoming initiatives and mission trips are discussed.

Program Needs: Volunteers are welcome at all levels of involvement to provide Spanish language assistance (here and in the DR), administrative assistance, fundraising efforts, and mission travelers.