Our medical mission trip to José Galvez, Peru has dominated the thinking and prayers of many in our Church family for several weeks. I would like to recap some of the highlights before we get back to our usual parish life.
Thirty of us made the trip—doctors, nurses, translators and support staff—and every single person was vital to the overall medical process. We saw more than 1,200 persons in three different sites around the parish of Nuestra Señora del Carmen. More than half were children, including many infants.
Each person was greeted, tested for vital signs, and then assessed by a nurse. We were blessed to have four pediatricians and four internists on our team. Each person had between five to ten minutes of a doctor’s attention and some had a lot more. Please understand that every step I have just described also required a translator, of which we had several, but could have used even more.
Our delivery of medications arrived mid-week. The doctors prescribed medications and vitamins from the generous supply you donated. Each patient received a “goody bag” with gifts of toiletries and dental products.
During our visit we stayed in a Carmelite retreat house, a short bus ride away. We prayed together each day, we packed medications each night. We debriefed constantly, and we even laughed a lot.
There are many more versions to be heard from the entire team, but I wish to conclude with this: WE, the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, carried out its first medical mission. Some of us actually made the trip, but all of us prayed and supported in countless ways. I speak for the great majority of the team when I say “We intend to do this again.”
Praise and thanks to God and to the Church family of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
fr. Dan O’Neill, O.Carm.
Pastor, Medical Mission Team 2018
On September 29th 2018, Fr. Dan O’Neill and 30 team members left for Jose Galvez, Peru on a medical mission for the extremely poor people who live there. Fr. Dan has long wanted this mission and it finally happened.
As a non-medical team member, I saw first-hand the impact the mission had on the people in an area that lacks so many basic resources. The more than 1,200 people who were seen by the physicians were all deeply appreciative of our efforts and the care they received. There were countless powerful moments that stood out for me.
One example is when a young mother walked in and asked if the doctors would see her son. I said yes and asked where he was and she replied that he was paralyzed and was at home. She went to get him and came back later with 2 young men helping her navigate a 7-year-old in a wheelchair over the very bumpy dirt road. He was completely disabled and when they got to our site, I helped lift the chair over the loose brick steps. I became a bit emotional as I thought about
the man that was brought to Jesus who was lowered through the roof due to the large number of people crowding Him (Luke 5:17). In a very small way, we were emulating the work of our Savior.
This mission was our parish’s first. The Bible says ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor in your land”. OLMC certainly opened its arms and answered that call. The benefits of one short term mission may be fleeting, but giving the sense that there are people who truly care will stay with them a lifetime (or at least until we return).
Parish Advisory Board Chair, Medical Team 2018