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Eighth Medical Mission to Naivasha, Kenya - Mary Jane Trinkus Reports

We have just returned from our 8th medical mission to Naivasha, Kenya. This year we were a small group with a two-fold purpose. First, we came to give medical care to patients at Upendo Village’s health clinic and also at an IDP (internally displaced persons) camp. Secondly, we were to gather with leaders at the provincial hospital to create and develop guidelines to ensure successful medical and surgical missions in the future.

Upendo Village’s medical clinic is available to any and all in the Naivasha region and manned by a wonderful and caring staff. We were warmly welcomed and worked side by side with our colleagues caring for our patients in need. This revenue-producing clinic plays an important role in helping support the many programs offered to people living with HIV and AIDS. read more


Natalie Bayci to Receive Honorary Doctorate for Service to the Poor and Leadership in Diocesan Missions 


 Jolilet Diocesan Crest

Motivated by her deep faith and a personal calling to offer help to the poor, Natalie Timko Bayci has reached out to countless people struggling with poverty in numerous countries around the world as the Coordinator for University Missions for the Peace and Social Justice Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet.

Since 2001, Mrs. Bayci has organized and completed nearly thirty mission trips. She and her mission teams, including numerous students and other members of the Lewis University community, have served the very poorest of people, by educating orphans, caring for disabled children, building homes for people who are homeless, assisting at daycare centers, and raising money for food and medicines.

Most recently, in January, 2012, Mrs. Bayci returned from her fifth trip to the Philippines, where she and others helped to build houses and provide health care to those in need. In June 2011, this dynamic grandmother completed her fifteenth mission trip to Sucre, Bolivia, where the Diocese of Joliet earlier helped build a hospital. She also was instrumental in establishing a guest lecture program and a Bolivian exchange student program at the University of St. Francis, in which fourteen Bolivian students have come from Sucre to the United States.

In January, 2011, Mrs. Bayci and her mission team served for the first time in Kenya, in a collaborative faith-based effort to extend care to individuals and families struggling with HIV/AIDS, in the midst of severe poverty, limited access to clean water, drought, and political upheaval.

In addition to coordinating and actively participating in this vital global missionary work, Mrs. Bayci has a long history of distinguished service to both religious and community organizations. Mrs. Bayci worked for thirty years as the Administrative Assistant for the Diocese of Joliet in the Bishop's office, initially serving Bishop Romeo Blanchette who died in 1982, as well as Bishop Daniel Kucera, Bishop Joseph Imesch and Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. Earlier in her career, she was employed for seven years at the University of St. Francis. She began her service work when her parish, the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet, needed a volunteer youth minister. She continued serving in numerous additional ways, as Young Adult Coordinator, Parish Council member, Lector, Communion Minister, and as member of the Council of Catholic Women. Mrs. Bayci has been an Associate of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate since 1987.

Mrs. Bayci's extraordinary and conscientious commitment to people living in poverty has been recognized by numerous organizations. Married to the late Robert Bayci for 41 years, Mrs. Bayci is the mother of five children and grandmother of nine grandchildren. Through her dedicated service to the Church and others, she is continuing the legacy that her own parents began as devout Catholics serving their parish, neighborhood, and extended family.

Indeed, Mrs. Bayci's life's work of exemplary service to the poor recalls Saint John Baptist De La Salle's initiatives to provide education for the poor which has succeeded in "Transforming Lives Since 1680."

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates.

(adapted from Lewis University News)






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Peace and Social Justice Ministry