Los Toros Mission

YAME 2019: Yes, you can make a difference!

With so many problems in the world it is easy to feel overwhelmed and think that you will not be able to change a thing. The 2019 Los Toros Youth & Adult Mission Experience (YAME) clearly shows that, although we can’t do everything, we can do something that does make a difference in someone’s life.

Shelter is one of our most basic needs. In June, the Los Toros YAME mission team helped complete a house for a childless couple who have lived for 18 years in their old mud/stucco house with a thatched roof, dirt floor and leaning walls. Nika is 50 and Vidal is 60. They do not have any education. Vidal works in agriculture. Their parents have all passed away.

Nika connected with the Los Toros Mission Foundation leaders through her participation in church. Nika and Vidal give thanks to God for everything and especially for the YAME members, the Foundación Los Toros, and to everyone who helped them there and at St. Joseph Parish in Grafton. Now with a simple secure house, and the protection it affords, their lives are more secure and healthy.

For more information about the activities of YAME visit the Mision YAME Los Toros Facebook page (That is mision spelled with only one ‘s’.) . YAME is part of the St. Joseph Parish Los Toros Mission Council which conducts mission activities in solidarity with the people of our sister parish in the Village of Los Toros in the Dominican Republic.

New Afterschool Program Starts with Help from a Teen from St. Joseph Parish.

A large group of 12 to 16 year-old Los Toros Youth are now benefiting from a new program to help them acquire discipline in their studies and improve their sports skills. The program was developed by three concerned adults in Los Toros . Aneuri Valentin Feliz Mauon (a physical education expert), Abraham Pina (a lawyer) and Joel Concepcion DeLeon (Los Toros High School physical education instructor) created the new program in Los Toros incorporating study time and assistance with homework after school linked with weekend sports training in basketball and volleyball. The location for the program is the Los Toros library, built and maintained through a trust from a St. Joseph Parish parishioner and your donations to the Los Toros Mission.

Joel oversees the program and is a graduate of our Beca scholarship program. When he applied for the scholarship he said that he wanted a university education so that he could return to Los Toros to benefit the youth of the community. True to his word, after graduating in 2012 with a degree in physical education, he returned to the village and was hired to teach physical education classes at the Los Toros High School.

As Aneuri, Abraham and Joel were forming this program, Sam Meehan, a St. Joseph Parish confirmation candidate, was searching for a way to link his confirmation service project with his love for the Los Toros youth he met last summer while on the Youth and Adult Mission Experience. Sam saw his opportunity when the three men contacted the Mission Council at St. Joseph for start-up funds. Through family and friends, Sam raised $1,095 to purchase sports equipment in the Dominican Republic. He also procured about $100 in practice jerseys and ball bags that were transported to Los Toros by three parishioners in January.

Thanks to the cooperation of one youth at St. Joseph Parish with the initiative of people in Los Toros, 80 to 100 Los Toros teenagers now have a better chance at success in life!

The new girls volleyball practice group is gathered with Joel Concepcion DeLeon.Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 7.45.14 PM

June 7th – June 18th 2019: Young Adult and Adult Mission Experience (YAME)

We invite all adults and youth to join us on our 2019 Young Adult and Adult Mission Experience that will take place June 7th through June 18th! There is an option for a shorter trip if needed! Spanish skills are helpful but we will help you and work with you if you don’t speak Spanish!

YAME offers a unique opportunity to experience a foreign country and a different culture as well as a chance to grow in your faith through the experience of working at our mission.

The mission trip is being led by Cathy and Socrate Mateo Zayas. Projects will include English Classes, Spanish Classes, Dental Programs, Cement Floors, Housing Repairs and Painting, Evangelization, Children’s Camp, Computer Classes, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Celebration and so much more! We also have fun! Some activities include Beach Day, Hiking, and Sightseeing in the Capital. Come and join us! Want to help but not sure where you fit in? Feel free to contact me and talk about it!

For more information check the Los Toros Mission Web Page or contact Cathy at 262-720-1884 or cathymateozayas@gmail.com .

Living the Gospel in Los Toros

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25: 35-36Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 1.14.13 PM

Delio, second from left, who assists the Los Toros Foundation, is shown here visiting with some Haitian immigrants who live in a neighborhood of Los Toros.

The people of our sister/mission parish in the Dominican Republic take the gospel seriously. One of the ways they live the gospel is by sharing what they have with those in need.

Some of the most needy include Haitian families who fled poverty and violence in Haiti, the western half of the island. When there is work in the fields, the Haitians earn enough to eat that day. When there is no work, they may go hungry but for the help of the Los Toros Foundation. Among the Haitian families are mothers with new-born infants who receive help from the Los Toros prenatal group.

The Foundation in Los Toros is the counterpart of the Los Toros Mission Council at St. Joseph Parish. The members of the Foundation together assess the needs of the people and set priorities as a community. The Mission Council here advises and collaborates with them in their works of service.

For more information about the Los Toros Mission go to www.lostorosmission.com or come to the Los Toros Council meeting on the third Wednesday of each month.

Los Toros Mission: “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”.

Members Build Community and Solidarity in Faith and Service.
What do they do on a Mission trip?

Discernment of New Leaders
2017 Young and Adult Mission Experience (YAME)
Parish Members Return from Los Toros Inspired and Committed.
Los Toros Water Filter Project Update
Know Your Brothers and Sisters: A Bit of Dominican History Part 1
Know Your Los Toros Brothers and Sisters: Dominican History Part 2
Looking for a no cost way to support the Los Toros Mission? Give while you shop! Before making your next purchase on Amazon, visit Amazon Smile and support the Los Toros Foundation.

Simply visit smile.amazon.com, shop as usual, and select the “Los Toros Foundation” as your charity of choice when you checkout. Amazon Smile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. It’s that easy!  

  • You shop. Amazon Gives.
  • Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases toLos Toros Foundation whenever you shop on Amazon Smile.
  • Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at amazon.com and selecting Los Toros Foundation as your charity.
  • Questions?To learn more about how Amazon Smile can donate to Los Toros when you make any purchase visit: amazon.com
  • Why not set your selection of Los Toros now and bookmark smile.mazon.com so it’s ready the next time you make a purchase?

Thank you for your generous support of our parish mission!


Our mission in Los Toros is a mission of solidarity. What does solidarity mean? These Principles of solidarity-based partnerships, taken from Catholic Relief Services’ Parish Partnership Manual express it well.

Principles of solidarity-based partnerships

I. Emphasize relationship over resources.
True partnerships build and nurture a familial relationship over a period of time. When the relationship is valued above all, it allows for mutual participation and transformation, and all are invited to participate equally, as we all have the ability to love and pray and be present to one another. In partnerships based on resources, the partner with little material resources is excluded from fully participating, and relegated to only receiving.

II. Practice mutuality and equality.
True mutuality allows each partner to function from a place of strength rather than weakness. Each acknowledges the wholeness of the other. We must be alert to the historic imbalances of power between the North and the South, and the way that plays out in a relationship. We need to intentionally incorporate opportunities for dialogue, planning, assessing, challenging, and reflecting together, in order to not to fall into the trap of the giver and the receiver, of the superior and the inferior.

III. Seek to give and receive, learn and teach.
True relationship is a constant give and take. We all bring something to the table and we all have poverties that need to be addressed. This requires a spirit of humility, recognizing that we are mutually interdependent and need each other.

IV. Work to change unjust systems and structures.
When we focus on the relationship, ask open-ended questions, and learn from our partners, they invite us in to see and understand their reality – their joys and celebrations, as well as their sorrows and struggles. We begin to recognize the structures and systems that often keep people in poverty and are unacceptably unjust, and are challenged to gently confront our own role and contribution to this injustice, whether through our inaction, or through our consumer choices, our levels of consumption, etc. We are then called to work to change those systems and/or our own personal habits and activities, for the sake of those we have come to know and love (and others who share the same challenges).

V. Deepen our faith by experiencing the universal catholic church.
Partnership calls us more fully into the Church as one Body of Christ, with many unique parts offering different gifts, while united Christ. We are challenged by our partner’s witness of faith amidst adversity. Coming to know brothers and sisters from another culture, we learn new ways of understanding the Scriptures and see new ways of being a parish community. We experience our oneness in Christ, we enlarge our tent, and expand our sense of shared humanity, not only with our parish partner, but with all God’s people in the universal church.

For more information about our parish mission in Los Toros, visit www.lostorosmission.com. All are welcome to attend our Mission Council meetings. Dates and times are announced in the parish bulletin under THIS WEEK IN OUR PARISH.


Los Toros 10-26-11 008 (7)housebuilding   Los Toros 10-26-11 009 (1)cuninhouse   IMG_0142-Isaias-don   11-11-11 098small boys-house-misa

Our first mission visit to Los Toros was in February of 1987; what has happened since then? Los Toros has changed dramatically and we are happy to say we had a role in its growth. But we did not change the community. Through self-determination, intense community organization and collaboration within and outside of the community the community changed itself! We are proud of our sisters and brothers in Los Toros and we are happy they invited us to be part of their growth.

We embrace the fourfold Philosophy of:

  • Perception, Learning, Understanding
  • Acting with Compassion and Solidarity
  • Enabling others to help themselves
  • Responsibility and Accountability

Through the diligent sharing of ideas, resources and culture we seek to build a relationship of friendship, trust and charity.

To be a part of the Los Toros Mission or for additional information…visit the Los Toros Web Site
To find out how you may share in the mission, contact any of members of the Los Toros Mission
committees or contact Judy Wendtlandt at rwendtlandt@wi.rr.com.
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.
Reflections on the new Mission Statement by Dave Bennett