Local teens get new perspective on world

Group travels to Montana to perform mission work
By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald Correspondent
-A +A
Sometimes, it takes a change of scenery to see the world from a new perspective. From June 23 through July 3, 16 teenagers and five adults from Rocklin’s Saints Peter and Paul Church headed to Great Falls, Montana to perform mission work. “The impact we were making in this community and the fact that people are at a loss for words of thanks, fills my heart with such joy and fullness that you just can’t put into words,” said Charisse Palaad, a teenage member of Youth Ministry. Over the course of a year, the teenagers held pancake breakfasts for parish members after Sunday masses to cover the cost of the trip. The Youth Ministry team, headed by Megan O’Neill, worked with the local food bank in Great Falls, focused on rebuilding and painting the existing compost bins to better survive the winter. “Each of our actions is like one drop of water in a pond, a lake, an ocean. Every action we take has an impact far greater than we know,” said a spokesperson for Gardens from Garbage, a non-profit program dedicated to protecting Earth’s natural resources. According to the organization, 33 million tons of food scraps are thrown away annually, contributing to the global warming potential of CO2. Gardens from Garbage staff called the mission team a “smiling, hard-working delight to have” who were also full of smiles. The Rocklin youth spent time planting a garden at an elementary school, worked closely with a nursing home and performed chores for an organization that assists grandparents in raising their grandkids. They also completed yard work for the nursing home. During the mission trip, the team visited Shoshone Falls and Glacier National Park. They also interacted with other mission teams from Colorado and Ohio at Ryan Dam and attended Native American culture nights filled with dancing and games. Other social justice projects the Youth Ministry completed this year ranged from hosting a “baby shower for Jesus” to benefit the Sacramento Life Center and organizing a “Super Bowl” during Super Bowl weekend to feed the hungry in the winter. “Help is never too far away,” said Alex Johnson, 18, who joined the trip. For more information and photos, visit