Two NDA Mission Trips Planned for Spring Break, Summer

Two NDA Mission Trips Planned for Spring Break, Summer

Ben Wolcanski, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Campus Minister Daniel Kriegl is once again taking NDA students on mission trips to Canton, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico.

“The most important thing I do for the school are these mission trips,” Kriegl said.

The spring break trip will take 15 Notre Dame Academy students down to Canton, Mississippi, to help the less fortunate in their community. NDA has been going on mission trips to Canton for over 20 years (before Kriegl’s time as Campus Minister). It’s great to get back there because Tritons haven’t been there since March of 2020. 

The poverty rate in Canton Mississippi is 19% while Puerto Rico has a 44% poverty rate with a 57% poverty rate for children. 

“These trips help us become missionary disciples. They take you out of your comfort zone,” said Kriegl.

While in Canton the students will be doing maintenance and construction work, help out in a pantry and garden, repair homes damaged by floods and take care of the children of families that need assistance.

“These people get hope from us because we come and care for them,” said Kriegl

“I think it’s beautiful when we build a sense of community with the people we serve. We certainly did that in Canton. I also love that our school’s name helps bring Mary’s presence and love to these communities as well,” he said.

Kriegl also works with Madison Countians Allied Against Poverty (or MADCAAP) to help the poor and needy. 

“What we do empowers and helps the people we serve. It gives them security and helps them out of bad situations and gets them on their feet. Many times when they see young kids that are willing to sacrifice their spring break just to help them it brings them to tears of joy. It gives them hope,” said Kriegl.

Fifteen students will accompany Kriegl to Canton, Mississippi. 

These students are Izak Beranek, Aiden Eastmen, Gavin Forbes, Tristan Forbes, Connor Gilson, Bryce Hawley, Alexander Healy, Cody Huss, Brooke Huss, Anthony Lamm, Barbara Inciartie, Isaac Nowak, Lucas Pavlik, Olivia Prosser and Addie Weiss.

New to this year, Kriegl is also taking students on a mission trip to Puerto Rico to help out families that were affected by hurricanes and didn’t have insurance. 

“Kids asked why didn’t we do an International mission trip, and we did some for a couple of years in Nicaragua and Jamaica, but Covid, along with the risks and logistics, made those difficult to sustain.” said Kriegl. 

“I started discerning if we could get to a place in America that is like what we were experiencing in Jamaica,” he said. 

Kriegl then found out about Catholic Missions Inc. that did mission service trips to Puerto Rico.

“It would feel like an international trip but still be in America,” said the campus minister.

“I want to go to places that have the most need. We are simply following Jesus’ lead, but it also needs to be safe for the students,” he said.

A total of 23 students are going on the Puerto Rico trip with Kriegl.

These students are Charlotte Brenner, Izak Beranek, Emmett Blaney, Hayley Bressers, Emily Briski, Alex Danen, Eva Delaney, Cece Deruyter, Kyla Dorner, Hannah Fergus, Grace Greene, Hannah Greisen, Brooke Huss, Cody Huss, Zita Lullloff, Ella Madson, Ian Noble, Sylvia Peterson, Isadora Popkey, Jessica Sack, Grace Schuh, Henry Streckenbach and Sydney Whitehouse.

“I believe that Jesus wants NDA to do these mission trips. It has more impact than everything else we do in Campus Ministry. It brings hope to souls that deserve some hope and the students that go will be changed for the better. These two trips go to the poorest areas in the U.S.,” Kriegl said.

“To me, doing missions is a lifestyle,’ continued the campus minister. “Bishop Ricken has asked the Diocese to become Missionary Disciples again. These mission trips are the best example of that because we are all focused on building the Kingdom of God without all the distractions that are in our daily lives. This has your whole heart and soul in it. It transforms students’ lives to become true disciples of Jesus Christ. I could talk about it forever, but the Lord’s words are always best. ‘Come and See.’ That is how Jesus got people to follow Him. So my invitation to all the students who might be considering going on a mission trip is ‘Come and See.’”