St. John Vianney and St. Thomas More joined a team of 29 medical and lay professionals from across the U.S. to journey to El Salvador on a Helping Hands Medical Mission. SJV also provided financial support, supplies, and volunteers throughout the summer to package and inventory medications in preparation for the mission. On the ground in El Salvador, the team was also assisted by Helping Hands’ staff and Regnum Christi volunteers.
The Helping Hands Mission Team set up makeshift clinics in Apopa, Ciudad Delgado, San Julian, and Santiago Texacuango where each day, they were greeted with long lines of hopeful and grateful individuals who ordinarily had little to no access to health care and critical medications (see photo below of the waiting area in Apopa). Patients received exams, medications, eyeglasses, and referrals as appropriate as well as opportunities for confession. Over 1000 individuals were provided with eyeglasses. Shoes were also given to families in need. Additionally, clinicians provided their services to local hospitals, performing surgeries and delivering babies. Over 2400 individuals were served by our Mission Team.
In addition to providing medical services, the team visited the sick and prayed with their families at La Divina Providencia, the cancer hospital where Blessed Oscar Romero was martyred celebrating Mass. They also visited children at an orphanage and a pediatric hospital where they brought gifts for the children and care packages for the families. While practicing the corporal works of mercy every day, team members were also able to spend some time in personal spiritual reflection by participating in daily mass, morning and evening prayers, and confession.
“whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).