300+ Franciscan University Students to Go Forth as Missionaries
Students to serve on 14 international and domestic mission trips during spring break in March
February 27, 2020
The students heading out on mission over spring break gather for a photo during Mission Immersion Day.

STEUBENVILLE, OH—Come March 6, more than 300 Franciscan University of Steubenville students will spend their spring break serving the people of God on 14 domestic and international missions. These missions, completely student led, organized, and funded, are life-changing for both the students and the people they serve.

“When you give God 10 days, you’re going to see love,” says Rhett Young, director of Missionary Outreach at Franciscan University. “When our students come back from mission, even if it was a difficult one, they say it changed their lives because of the way they encountered Christ in the people they served.”

This year, students will serve on spring break missions in Arizona, Florida, Belize, New York City, Chicago, Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica, Los Angeles, New Mexico, Nicaragua, North Dakota, San Diego, and Steubenville.

The University’s Austrian Study Abroad Program also sends students to missions in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Albania, and Lourdes, France.

“Serving on mission expands your view of the world,” says senior Maddie Birong, a co-lead for the Ecuador Mission, which is both medical and catechetical. “There are other mission trips where people can clean a maternity ward or build houses, but what makes Franciscan’s missions special is we do all that but also feed something that will last—their faith. The joy of the people we serve is contagious.”

A Franciscan TOR friar will join almost every mission trip. Other religious also accompany the students, including the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, Little Sisters of the Poor, Franciscan TOR sisters, Missionaries of Charity, Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, and the Sisters of Life.

Student missionaries undergo a lengthy period of training that culminates in the annual Mission Immersion Day on February 29, which will feature a talk by Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, University president, and a mission-focused Festival of Praise.

Beginning February 23 and ending March 15, each student, advisor, and religious participating in a mission will read Gospel Reflections to Develop Your Missionary Heart, a book Young wrote specifically for the Missions of Peace Program.

“When you’re reading the Gospels, you’re reading in tune with the universal Church,” Young says. “God’s able to work in your heart.”

Students, advisors, and religious will leave for their spring break mission trips on March 6 and return March 15. For more information, or to donate to a Mission of Peace trip, visit the Missions of Peace pages.

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