Kentucky mission trip tradition continues to foster service at Prep


Ellen Dieteman, Staff Writer

The 51-year-old mission trip to Vanceburg, Kentucky, has been an impactful experience for countless members of the Prep community, including students, teachers, and alumni. Father Mike DeMartinis, teacher and theater director, first attended this trip in 1989. Since then, he has given students and other members of the community the opportunity to attend the mission.

This year will be no exception, as he and other volunteers will travel to Holy Redeemer Parish in Vanceburg, Kentucky, from June 24 to July 1.

“I’m part of an over 51-year-old tradition started by a sister friend of mine, who was invited to go down there in 1972 to start the mission,” said Father Mike.

The trip involves serving the people of this community in Appalachia Kentucky, with activities such as a Vacation Bible School for young kids and physically assisting adults with daily tasks. Ultimately the focus of the trip is doing the work of God by serving others. It aims to “foster authentic attitudes while sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ.”

“No matter what we do, everything has a connection to God,” senior Grant McCarthy, who went on the trip in 2022, said. “But most importantly, we help by giving the people a sense of Christian community.”

Participating requires humility to serve the community in a remote area. Volunteers are encouraged to remove themselves from the comfort of their daily life, sacrificing cellphones and other electronics to truly become a missionary of Christ.

Interested students can find Father Mike in the Student Life Center during lunches to pick up an application. The cost is $225 per person to cover transportation, shelter, and food.

“I would highly encourage anyone who is interested in helping people to attend,” Grant McCarthy said. “It is a seriously amazing experience to go on a mission trip and put others before yourself for a week!”