A group of St. Joseph’s Academy students traveled to Klagetoh, Arizona, to work with the Navajo people on Saint Anne’s Mission. The trip to the desert took place May 31-June 7.
The travelers undertook a variety of chores, including repairing a fence to contain a woman’s horses; painting and general cleanup; collecting and breaking up rocks to help prepare a foundation for a house add-on; gardening; and working on a sheep farm.
Students also enjoyed mass at the mission and visiting with the locals. They traveled to Canyon de Chelly in Chinle, Arizona, and watched sunset at Spider Rock. They participated in the “Just Move It” walk/run to promote active lifestyles on the reservation. They visited the Navajo museum, experienced the Navajo culture and dancing in the town of Gallup, New Mexico, and ended the mission trip with the traditional Sweat Lodge ritual.
The students were accompanied by faculty members Laura Flandez and Catherine Durnin.
Senior Caroline Colby said the trip was a wonderful combination of mission work, creating memories and experiencing the local culture. “This trip was so meaningful to me because I got to meet so many new people and grow closer to the people I came on the mission trip with,” she said. “I was able to grow in my faith, and I got the opportunity to learn about the Navajo culture and way of life. I made so many special memories that I will never forget.”
Durnin said the experience was both eye-opening and meaningful. “Throughout the trip, we learned about the Navajo traditions and history while making connections with the young and old people we met,” she said. “Every night included prayer and reflection as a group. We shared lots of laughs and insight into our experiences on the reservation.”