LOS TOROS MISSION
Los Toros Azua, Dominican Republic - St. Joseph Grafton, Wisconsin USA
LOS TOROS MISSION SUNDAY is September 23rd and 24th
It’s back to school both here and in Los Toros! Education at all levels is the cornerstone of our parish Mission in Los Toros in the Dominican Republic. Our Beca college scholarship program provides qualified students with tuition, room, board and assistance with other expenses. We provide a library and computers that students need. We also help pay for uniforms and supplies for needy students in the village elementary school.  
 
The Mission Sunday Appeal is the single largest source of funding each year for the many works of service of the mission. Your support for nearly 30 years has made Los Toros a far better place today. Our brothers and sisters in Los Toros are truly grateful for your generosity. 
 
Still, the village struggles to satisfy many basic needs. Your continued prayers and financial support empower them to improve their education, health, community development and spiritual growth.  
 
After each Mass on Mission Sunday weekend we invite you to celebrate and share with us the many ways your support is helping the people in Los Toros. Please plan to stay a few minutes for conversation, food and beverage and to learn more about the mission. When you find the Mission Sunday Appeal letter in your mail box, please be as generous as you are able. Muchas gracias!  

The Mission Sunday Appeal is the largest single source of funding each year for the many works of service of the parish mission. Your support for nearly 30 years has made Los Toros a far better place today.  
 
It is your continued prayers and support that empowers the people in our sister parish to improve their education, health, community development and spiritual growth. 
 
Your time and talent is also needed to support the works of the mission. The various Los Toros committees could use more help with the work done here year round. After each Mass on Mission Sunday weekend we invite you to see and celebrate the many ways your support is helping the people in Los Toros. Please plan to stay a few minutes for conversation, food and beverage and to learn more about the mission. Please speak with the volunteers and sign up to help one of the committees.  
 
The Mission Sunday Appeal letters have been mailed to parish members. Please be as generous as you are able. Our brothers and sisters in Los Toros are truly grateful for your generosity. Muchas gracias!  
WELCOME HOME YAME TEAM!
Members build community and solidarity in faith and service
YAME 2017 was a wonderful experience of sharing faith, building solidarity and working together for the good of the people of our sister parish in Los Toros, Dominican Republic. This photo shows many of the YAME team members taking a break to socialize after many full days of work.  

Hailey Hacker, one of the young adults on the team, posted photos on Facebook. How significant are the mission trips? She says it so well: “Everyone please take a moment to look at some of the many pictures I took in Los Toros, Dominican Republic! I just wanna say I had an amazing time! I am truly blessed I got to travel for two weeks and show my faith and love for God and everyone in this community too! I had such a fun time and I can't wait to go back! I made plenty of new friends and now consider them all my family!” 

Thank you all for your prayers during the mission and your year-round financial and prayer support for the mission.
Do you know what these are?  
In Los Toros they do!

¿Sabes cuales son?  
En Los Toros todos saben!

Hint: they have something to do with baseball. 
 
Baseball is BIG in the Dominican Republic. The first professional league was founded in 1890. They have their own professional leagues based in several cities and the fans are, well, fanatic!  
 
The first Dominican played on a US Major League team in 1956. Since then more than 400 Dominicans have played on US Major League teams.  
 
With the cost of regular baseball equipment beyond the reach of most, a unique variation of baseball evolved. They play it in Los Toros and all over the DR. For bats they use broomsticks. For balls they use discarded plastic bottle caps from 5-gallon drinking water jugs. These are called “vitillas” and so the game is called vitilla.  
 
They play vitilla in the streets, courtyards and parks. There are organized Vitilla leagues for kids and adults.  
 
Returning to baseball, some of the Dominicans who play or have played for the Brewers include Domingo Santana, Willy Peralta, Jonathan Villar, Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez, Neftali Feliz, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Villanueva and Elian Herrera.  
 

Sugerencia: hay que hacer algo con el béisbol. 
 
El béisbol es grande en la República Dominicana. La primera liga profesional fue fundada en 1890. Ellos tienen sus propias ligas profesionales basados en varias ciudades y los fanaticos son, así, fanáticos! 
 
La primera Dominicana jugó en un equipo de Grandes Ligas en los EEUU en 1956. Desde entonces más de 400 Dominicanos han jugado en equipos de Grandes Ligas. 
 
Con el costo de béisbol más allá del alcance de la mayoría, una variación exclusiva de béisbol ha evolucionado. Juegan en Los Toros y todo el DR. Para los bates utilizan palo de escoba. Para pelotas usan tapones de plástico de botellas de agua potable. Estos son los llamados "vitillas" y así el juego se llama vitilla. 
 
Juegan vitilla en las calles, plazas y parques. Hay ligas Vitilla organizados para niños y adultos. 
 
Regresando al béisbol, algunos de los Dominicanos quienes juegan o han juegado por Los Cerveceros de Milwaukee incluyen Domingo Santana, Willy Peralta, Jonathan Villar, Jean Segura, Carlos Gómez, Neftali Feliz, Aramis Ramírez, Carlos Villanueva y Elian Herrera. 
 

Los Toros Mission Retreat – An Invitation from Deacon Don Kabara 
Note: this trip will not include working at the mission, it is meant to be a spiritual experience. 
All meetings and sharing will be done in English no Spanish is required. 
A Three Day Retreat 

Objectives: 
  1. Connect our spirituality and build solidarity with people living in the Third World. 
  2. Investigate living the Gospel in our daily lives. 
  3. Grow our prayer lives through Scripture Meditation and Journaling. 
  4. Share our spirituality with Dominicans and have them share their spirituality with us. 
Format: 
  1. Travel to Los Toros and stay with families. 
  2. Three meetings each day – Morning – Afternoon – Evening. 
    - Prayer as a group
    - Scripture and Spiritual Reading and reflection
    - Discuss Meditation and Journaling in simple terms
  3. A daily talk –given by Deacon Don, questions and discussion within group.
  4. Sharing with Dominicans
  5. End retreat with visit to the capital city and historical and religious sites
Possible Dates: Feb 22 or 23 – to Feb 27 or 28, 2018, Mar 1 or 2 – to Mar 6 or 7, 2018 

Time and Cost: 
1. Six days: Three in Los Toros, one in the capital and two for travel. 
2. Costs: Approximately $180.00 plus airfare and additional options – hotel and food. 
3. Airfare – Approximately $550 to $650 

Contact: Deacon Don Kabara – sr.dkabara@gmail.com, cell 262-490-2490; 209 W Cedar St. Grafton – 53024
**Since I will be traveling a bit it is best to contact me via email or regular mail**

Feliz Navidad to you from Los Toros!
The people in Los Toros wish you all a Merry Christmas! How do they celebrate Christmas? Alvaro, a college student from Los Toros who is studying languages, tells us about their Christmas customs.  
 
Celebrating the birth of Jesus is very important to them. In addition to going to Mass, they celebrate a special meal with as many family members as possible. Those who live far away come home for this Christmas meal.  
 
In Los Toros, sancocho is a favorite food for Christmas dinner. It is a stew often made with several meats, yucca, squash, green banana and corn. Each cook can vary the ingredients as desired. Other popular Dominican foods for Christmas are chenchen, (similar to pilaf made from cracked corn), and roast pork. Many Domincans also have telera, a special kind of bread. And of course there is always rice and gandules (pidgeon peas).

Another Christmas custom is the giving of aguinaldos, the gift of songs. Friends and family members gather in groups (called parrandas). They walk down the streets singing Christmas songs, playing instruments and making lots of noise. When they arrive at a neighbor’s house, they are welcomed in where they sing Christmas songs. They are offered treats like hot chocolate, ginger tea, coffee, cookies and food. Religious Christmas songs are called villancicos.  
  
The Feast of the Three Kings is also celebrated in a much bigger way than we do here.  
 
The people of Los Toros remember us in their prayers send their warm wishes for Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas! 
 
For more information about our parish mission in Los Toros, Dominican Republic, visit www.lostorosmission.com. Mission Council meetings are the third Wednesday of each month at 7pm and are open to all who are interested.