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Thanksgiving 2013

Every Thanksgiving at Mission Santa Maria we struggle to eloquently put into words how grateful we are to all of you for your support. This year we thought it would be more appropriate to have you hear it directly from the children you are helping support.

Please click on the video link below to view our Thanksgiving message:

November Update From Mission Santa Maria

Yet another busy couple of weeks for Mission Santa Maria since our last update. In fact, more then we can squeeze into this post, but here are some highlights:

Kelly Riordan’s Story

Kelly is a recent college graduate who spent several weeks volunteering at the Mission along with Ann Henebery who we heard from last month:

After graduating from college I had a strong desire to go abroad and volunteer with children before beginning my career. Together with a friend from college we searched for opportunities abroad and through friends we found Mission Santa Maria. We were able to get in contact with the Mission quickly and were welcomed to come with only a few weeks notice. We immediately booked flights and knew it was going to be a great experience.

During my two weeks at the orphanage my lack of Spanish created many frustrating situations. This was always quickly more than made up by the love and hugs that the children shared with us. The kids had been through such tragic situations but were able to share so much love. This truly was a moving experience that always reminded you to put things in perspective and to focus on what really matters.

Kelly with a student from the Mission

Speaking Opportunities

We want to thank the following people and groups for the opportunity to come and speak about Mission Santa Maria:

Fr. Len Stoviak from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish
Fr. Dan Mahoney from Holy Family Parish
Fr. Anthony Carbone with St. Johns Parish
Diocese of Greensburg Missionary Co-op

Most recently we spoke at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish and Fr. Len Stoviak was kind enough to write about the experience on his blog “Journey Thoughts” – click here to read

MSM Welcome Ellen Hagerty

Ellen is new to the staff of Mission Santa Maria, but not new to the Mission itself. She spent 4 months volunteering at the Mission in Ecuador after she graduated from the University of Notre Dame. Ellen studied English and Philosophy at Notre Dame and went on to earn a Master’s in English Education. She taught English in a high school outside of Boston, and now she stays home with her baby, Jack. Between changing diapers and stroller fit classes, Ellen will help Mission Santa Maria with all the behind the scenes work that helps us run. She has seen the value of the Mission herself and is so happy to  be able to help it run well and grow to serve more children.