Welcome to our blog!

A photo from a past Biloxi youth mission trip (Photo by Katie Berger)

Nearly 60 youth from around the archdiocese spent their spring break working at Camp Restore in New Orleans. Photos and news from the trip have been be posted on this page.

Spring Break Mission Trip 2007

Latest blog posts

Who is posting on this blog?

Katie Berger is the former the youth minister at St. Barnabas Parish. She is currnetly finishing her Master's degree in theology at St. Meinrad School of Theology. This is her third mission trip with the archdiocese and the third time she has assisted with the blog.

Blog entries

Home Safe

Apparently all the youth and adults returned home safely late last week, which brings to an end the items that will be posted here.

Feel free to continue to use this page as a resource as I will keep it online. Keep in mind that the posts are listed from newest to oldest, so if you want to start from the beginning of the mission trip scan down to the bottom of the page and start there.

Thanks for visiting!

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 9:21 a.m. on Monday, April 2, 2007

Thursday Photos (and homilies)

Youth workingSee photos that Katie sent from yesterday

Also, check out three sound files (each about 2 MB) that Katie made of the homily from Mass each day (given by Father Jonathan Meyer, archdiocese director of youth and young adult ministry):


Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 6:37 p.m. on Friday, March 30, 2007

Wednesday Work and Prayer

The latest from Katie regarding what the youth did yesterday:

Church buildingAnother hot day, another day of great work performed.  Teams, today, continued the work of gutting homes, installing dry wall and yard work.

Today we stopped work early in order to go downtown New Orleans for Mass at St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson square, at the edge of the French Quarter.  It was their regular 5 p.m. mass, however, Father Meyer celebrated it instead of a priest there.  Since we wouldn’t make it back to Camp Restore in time for dinner we ate out.  We went to a restaurant called, “Pampy’s Creole Kitchen,” where each person ate red beans & rice, fried chicken and tea.

On the way home from downtown, we stopped again at the convent and let everyone run around until it was dark before returning back to Camp Restore.  We concluded the night with adoration, where the youth sang, reflected and journaled about their day.

Photo Gallery:

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 11:20 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, 2007

Group photos

I've pulled two photos from the past couple of days that feature a large group of youth posing for a shot. The first group is smaller, while the second is (I believe) all the people currently on the trip. Click each to see a larger version.

Group shot 2Group shot 1

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 11:24 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tuesday Work and Rest

Read what Katie writes about Tuesday, or skip below to the photo gallery:

Youth getting ready for a day of workAgain, today’s work went well.  Teams went to parks, to gut homes and also stayed back to help around camp.  One team also went to a home blessing of woman whose home had been worked on by Camp Restore.  It was another hot day – though a little overcast.  It looked like it would rain all day and many would have welcomed a little shower to cool us off. Many are a little burnt and tired but all in all doing really well.

In the evening, we had an amazing opportunity to spend time at the convent for the Sisters of the Holy Family, located just down the street from Camp Restore.  Really only by God’s grace did we stumble upon this place.  While driving by, Father saw a statue of the Blessed Mother out front and within a day had arranged with the sisters to come to their campus to have Mass.  We were pleasantly surprised that following Mass, they had some refreshments for us.  This gave us all the chance to chat with several of the sisters.  They were such joyous women who appeared to really love having all the young people around.

Tomorrow we look forward to another day of work.  The plan is that we will finish work a little early in order to head to downtown New Orleans to have Mass in the cathedral of the diocese. 

Photo Gallery:

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 9:14 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28, 2007

First Day of Work

Read what Katie writes about Monday and the first day of work, or skip below to the photo galleries:

Youth helping tend to a lawnOur experience at Camp Restore has thus far been great.  It is very well organized and a facility made up with super hospitable volunteers.  We have dormitory style bunk beds, split up between two rooms, one for the guys and the other for the girls.  There is a large area used for meals, a common living area with couches and chairs to lounge in. We are here with other volunteers from around the country so we have had to be flexible as we are not the only people staying here.

Today new teams were formed and were sent out to various projects.  My team along with two others went to a park today to do yard work – mowing, clearing brush, etc… The park is located within a neighborhood that still is affected and trying recover from hurricane damage.  Many of the houses within the neighborhood are clearly abandoned but there are others that show signs of progress.  Each house has a mark spray painted on the outside, a note to others that right after the hurricane the house was inspected.  White FEMA trailers are still parked outside the homes for the families while the homes are being worked on. 

Youth at MassAs we drove through the middle-class neighborhoods, I couldn’t help but think about the morale in these neighborhoods.  I couldn’t help but think about how difficult it would be.  Some homes we being repaired while other remained in ruins.  Every day those who had returned would have to see reminders of the destruction even though they were trying to repair their homes.  Many had neighbors die in the flooding which, it would seem, be for awhile on their minds.

Although a Lutheran-run organization, they had a nice little church that they allowed us to have mass in this evening after showers and dinner.  Immediately before Mass we watched a slide show of very moving pictures from the hurricane and all the youth had time to journal about why we were here.  After Mass, we had a Euchre tournament followed by a birthday celebration for Mike, who turned 18 today.  The birthday bash wasn’t complete until he hit a Superman piñata and everyone went scrambling for candy.  Yes – right before bed.

Now, we’ve finished day one.  Overall, it was a fantastic day.  It seems most all are upbeat and ready to continue work tomorrow.  Some, myself included, are sun burnt as today was a hot but gorgeous day.

Photo Galleries:

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 9:41 a.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The trip to New Orleans

Group preparing to leave IndianaKatie Berger sends along photos and the following note regarding yesterday's traveling:

After an entire day of driving, we arrived at Camp Restore in New Orleans at about 10 p.m., central time.

There were no problems at all during the drive and now all seem to be tired but upbeat. After a short tour of the facilities here at Camp Restore, all the youth were shortly in bed to be ready for our first day of work tomorrow.

See a photo gallery of the the youth before, during and after their day of travel

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 9:38 a.m. on Monday, March 26, 2007



The youth and chaperones attending this year's Spring Break Mission Trip arrived at Camp Restore in New Orleans last night. They begin their first day of work today.

Photos from their day of travel will be posted shortly.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 9:03 a.m. on Monday, March 26, 2007


Local site Links: