Fr. John Gerritts, pastor of St. Patrick, Hudson, greets parishioners of St. Patrick’s sister parish, San Jose, in Yalpemech, Guatemala, after Mass. Fr. Gerritts celebrated Mass twice during a February mission trip. (Facebook, used with permission)

In February, St. Patrick’s Church, Hudson, sent two mission teams to their sister parish, San Jose el Tesoro, in Yalpemech, Guatemala.

Each team included a medical doctor and support staff. Team one included the parish’s pastor, Fr. John Gerritts; they left from the Twin Cities Feb. 7 and returned Feb. 17. The second team left Feb. 14 and returned Feb. 24.

The two teams overlapped at an orphanage, Los Hogares (Spanish for the “The Homes”). Los Hogares is located in Santa Apolonia and is run by the School Sisters of St. Francis, who also serve at San Jose Parish.

Each  team carried medical supplies, prescription and over-the-counter medicines and sport shoes in seven large suitcases.

While in the village, the teams operated a medical clinic and saw on average 30-50 patients a day.

Homes visits were conducted most afternoons for those who requested them.

During the second week, eight midwives attended a clinic. Delivery techniques were reviewed and questions answered. Delivery kits, which included supplies for each birth and a gift for the mother and baby, were distributed to the midwives.

After the meeting, the team was able to visit four newborn babies and their families.
Fr. Gerritts celebrated Mass twice during his stay.

San Jose congregation showed their appreciation for each team’s visit with an evening musical performance.

St. Patrick sends between one and three mission teams to Guatemala each year. Missionaries provide medical, educational and construction services.