Los Toros Azua, Dominican Republic - St. Joseph Grafton, Wisconsin USA
Mission Statement

“To live the Gospel by sharing our spiritual, cultural, and material resources in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Los Toros, empowering them to enhance their education, health, community development and spiritual growth".
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 

  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. 
  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**

YAME Mission dates announced for 2018!
May 22nd - June 5th  
GREAT NEWS! Reserve your spot today on the next Mission Trip! 
Are you interested in going to Los Toros? The dates for the next Young Adult and Adult Mission trip (YAME) have been set. We will be traveling to Los Toros on Tuesday May 22nd 2018 and Returning on Tuesday June 5th 2018! Can’t stay that long? You have the option to return early, if you need to.   
Our focus for this trip will be on the dental program, laying cement floors in homes, English classes and continuing to build our relationship of friendship and support as sister parishes. We will conclude the trip with a day of fun at the beach and sightseeing in the capital city.  
To learn more or to reserve your spot today, contact Cathy Mateo Zayas at cathymateozayas@gmail.com or 262-720-1884
Those under the age of 18 who would like to attend this awesome mission trip are welcome when accompanied by a parent. 
Here is a picture of last year’s group gathered in the church in Los Toros.

Los Toros Mission Council meetings are open to all who are interested. Meetings are the third Wednesday of each month at 7pm.
Cleanup Day at the Library for the Youth in Los Toros
To show pride in their village and their appreciation and gratitude, a group of young people in Los Toros spent a day cleaning up the area around the library. The library was built through the generosity and collaboration of members of St. Joseph Parish.  

Recently the library has received some needed repairs and upgrades. During the Mission Trip last May, new exterior lights were installed. More recently tree branches had to be trimmed so falling leaves won’t clog the gutters and create leaks and mildew problems. Ways to improve ventilation inside the library are now being reviewed. Several of the computers have become obsolete and need to be replaced.  

 The library will soon offer computer and internet classes five evenings a week. Some of the students and graduates of the” Beca” scholarship program will be teaching those classes.
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.