Twenty-four hours from now, we will be on our way to Belize. What started as a dream is now coming true. When our mother, Frances O’Toole, passed away in November 2010, we were filled with an overwhelming desire to pay tribute to her and our father, Jim, who passed away in 1983. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Belize many times over the years, most recently because of my role in the Advancement Office for the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Belize always touches my soul on the deepest level, and my sisters and brothers have heard the stories over the years.
One night as we were caring for our mother, my sister, Mary, said, “I’d love to do something like that.” Then, on the day of our mother’s funeral, my family had the chance to meet Sister Luke, the Director of the Volunteer program for the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. In conversation, Sister Luke planted the seed, and we began to talk about the possibility of a family trip to build a home in memory of our parents. And here we are. On Saturday, four of us siblings, a cousin and his wife, and seven close friends will travel to Belize and meet up with Sister Luke. Two brothers are unable to make this trip, but are with us in spirit – the way that matters most. While there, we will work through Hand in Hand Ministries to build a home for someone in need. Mary explains, “They provided us with a loving home. This is our way to pay it forward. We’ll provide a home for someone else.”
So many people have made this trip possible, and they are part of this journey too. Over 100 people attended a fundraiser and raised enough money to build the house, install plumbing and provide for other needs in Belize. Others purchased bracelets with the word “JOURNEY” in solidarity with us on this trip, and to recognize the journey that each of us is on in life.
So, this is your invitation to journey with us, as we hope to provide updates and photos each day. We are grateful for your prayers.