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What is a Mission Trip and Why Should I Go on One?

What is a Mission Trip and Why Should I Go on One?

When you hear the phrase “mission trip”, what comes to mind? Do you think of uncomfortably cramped flights to faraway places? Or living in underdeveloped countries with no electricity and countless diseases?

These discomforts can certainly be a part of the mission trip experience, depending on your destination, but they pale in comparison to the many benefits you gain by going on a mission. Not convinced? Let’s start with the basics.

What is a mission trip?

  • A mission trip is a volunteer experience in an underdeveloped community, with the goal of lifting up that community through tangible projects and faith experiences.
  • Missionaries lift up communities through projects like teaching, restoring buildings, or providing a range of other social and medical services.

Mission Trip Catholic girl in Uganda

Mission Trip Catholic Man

  • Missionaries also strengthen the community by sharing their faith in Christ, creating spaces for common prayer, and assisting with the sacraments.
Sacramental Mission Trip

But why go on a mission trip?

There’s a clear-cut, textbook answer to the question of why. You’ve probably guessed it already: because Jesus told us to!

  • By going on a mission trip, we’re not only fulfilling Jesus’ command to “go out into the world and proclaim the gospel”, but also living out our Catholic faith in a tangible way by serving the poor and marginalized.

Catholic Teens Mission Trip

  • To go on a mission is to answer the tug of the Holy Spirit in your heart and open yourself up to God so he can work his grace through you.

But would you be shocked to learn that mission trips are not all about sacrificing and giving? While it’s the local community that benefits most, as a missionary you’ll receive much in return. First are the countless benefits that come with any form of travel.

  • You’ll get to experience another culture, language, and way of life. You’ll expand your perspective on the world and the human condition.

Girl on a Mission Trip

  • Rather than experiencing these things as a tourist, on a mission you’ll get to immerse yourself and become a real part of the local community. 
  • You’ll meet many new people, develop lifelong friendships, and will forever have a deep connection with a place and people thousands of miles from home.

Mission Trip Dominican Republic

Catholic Mission Trips

Mission trips with Caritas for Children are even more special. Part of Caritas’s work involves supporting local vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

  • As a missionary with Caritas, you’ll get to work alongside many priests and sisters who grew up in the very community they now serve.

Catholic Nun Haiti

  • Caritas Ministry Service Providers will welcome you into the community and guide you through the transition of becoming a missionary.
  • They’ll also support you through prayer, and even provide the opportunity for a pilgrimage.

Catholic Mission Trip

  • Going on a mission trip can provide you with life-changing experiences and the opportunity to do real, tangible good in the world.

So what are you waiting for? Contact Caritas today to learn about current mission opportunities, or read testimonies from past Caritas missionaries here.


Vic Russak is an Albany, NY based content writer specializing in food, nutrition, and Catholic faith topics. Learn more about his work here.