Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
22 Jul 2013
Pilgrims, priests and religious from the Archdiocese of Sydney have participated in a week of mission work in Lima Peru.
Some have been teaching Catechesis in primary schools while others have been explaining the benefits of dental hygiene!
For many pilgrims it has been tough and dirty work building concrete stairways in the shanty towns outside Lima that hug the muddy and slippery slopes of the barren hillsides.
Without these stairways the communities struggle to get their buckets of fresh water and food up the slopes.
And in winter with the rainfall this does not openly take many hours but can be extremely dangerous.
Also it is only when there is basic infrastructure in place, like the stairways, that local council will even begin to consider other financial assistance.
School students, university students, youth leaders, seminarians and priests and religious formed human chains to get the sand, cement and water up the side of the hills.
Hard word but their encouragement and the joy of the locals having them there kept them going until the job was complete.
The pilgrims have now left Lima for Rio de Janeiro where they will join hundreds of thousands of other pilgrims from around the world for World Youth Day.
Pope Francis has also left the Vatican for Rio where he will be welcomed tomorrow morning (Sydney time).