Who says a mission trip always has to be serious? Certainly not our brothers who spent their semester break working, as usual, with the Missionaries of Charity in Gallup, New Mexico.
Whether friars are studying, working with their hands, or enjoying a climb in the mountains, they do so as brothers of Francis, an apostle of Gospel joy.
While in New Mexico, our men also had some exposure to Navajo culture. They spent time at Window Rock, the administration capital and center of the Navajo nation. The city gets its name from the hole in a 200 ft high sandstone hill adjacent to the town. Tségháhoodzání, the Performated Rock in Navajo, is important in the Water Way Ceremony. It is one of the four places where Navajo medicine men go with their woven water bottles to get water, asking for abundant rain.
Adding emotional attachment to Window Rock is the Navajo Code Talkers Memorial at the base of the arch. The Code Talkers, made famous in the film “Windtalkers,” were a group of Navajo-speaking U.S. Marines who during World War II devised a Navajo-based code that the Japanese were unable to break.