Diocese of Joliet seeking volunteers for medical/construction mission

Volunteers will spend 2 weeks in the Philippines in January

The Diocese of Joliet will resume its international mission program in January and it’s currently recruiting volunteers for its two-week medical and construction trip to the Philippines.

Volunteers will depart from the U.S. on Jan. 28 and return Feb. 12. An informational meeting will be held 7 p.m. July 15 at the Blanchette Catholic Center, 16555 Weber Road.

The following types of surgeons are needed: general, gynecological, orthopedic, pediatric, plastic and ear-nose-and-throat. An operating room, recovery room and staff nurses are also needed – as are family practitioners, emergency medicine doctors, internists and pediatricians, according to a news release from the Diocese of Joliet.

Bruce Carlson, missions coordinator, said in the release that volunteers who can perform construction work with just the simplest of tools – out of respect for Filipino people and their customs – are also needed.

Carlson said the trip will revisit the city of Borongan on the island of Samar, one of the poorest areas in the Philippines, where the government runs a regional, poorly staffed, regional, hospital for low-income patients. These patients often travel eight hours in order to receive needed medical care, the release said.

A 2008 Herald-News story, when the Diocese of Joliet, was planning its fifth trip to the area, said these people often live with large hernias and goiters for a long time since they either can’t get to the care or they can’t afford the care.

One child born without an ear had the ear reconstructed in three different stages. The missionaries performed stage one and a local plastic surgeon completed the second stage, the 2008 Herald-News story said.

The volunteers will stay at a local hotel. After Mass each morning at the hospital, the missions teams move to their various assignments. These can include construction, dentistry, general health care, surgery or community outreach headed up by the local order of religious sisters, the release said.

This will be the first international mission for the diocese’s Partnership in Mission office since January 2020.

To apply for the trip or for more information, visit http://bit.ly/missionsapplsite, by emailingmissions@dioceseofjoliet.org or calling 815-221-6256.

Denise M. Baran-Unland

Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor for The Herald-News in Joliet. She covers a variety of human interest stories. She also writes the long-time weekly tribute feature “An Extraordinary Life about local people who have died. She studied journalism at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, now the University of St. Francis.