Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais has a long history of serving the people in rural villages in Belize. Some 12 years ago, former Associate Francis “Foo” Chamness sent repaired bicycles to Corozal Town in Belize, where Viatorians had been serving since 1998.

They continued to support a medical mission that returned to Belize for several years, and though Viatorians no longer minister in the country, parishioners at Maternity still have a heart for the people of Belize.

Fr. Moses Mesh with Rafael Cobb

Perhaps that has something to do with Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, Parochial Vicar, who is a native of Belize and has been serving at Maternity since 2021. He returned to his home country over the Christmas holidays and it drew Chris Lord, Music Director at the parish, to pay him a visit and see if there were ways in which parish volunteers could serve the community.

Over the weekend, Lord recorded a video asking parishioners for help in a mission trip planned for Jan. 8-14, 2025. She described working with Rafael Cobb and his nonprofit, Compassion Belize, which is dedicated to breaking the chains of poverty in Corozal Town, Belize.

When the Viatorians served in Belize, Cobb served with them as a Viatorian associate. In more recent years, he spent several weeks at Maternity recovering from a health condition.

Chris Lord with Rafael Cobb and his wife and Fr. Mesh.

“This is an amazing opportunity to live our parish mission of becoming missionary disciples,” said Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, Pastor.

Lord likened Compassion Belize to Habitat for Humanity, in that volunteers would be working alongside local residents in building a house, stocking their food pantry and delivering aid to residents.

In her video, Lord made an appeal for volunteers to travel to the Central American country — they can accommodate up to 20 — but she also seeks financial support. It takes between $12,000 and $15,000 to build one house.

Compassion Belize builds homes for needy residents.

“Just like Habitat for Humanity, Rafael will prepare the foundation and our donated funds would be used to purchase materials,” Lord said, “as well as to stock the food pantry.”

After visiting Cobb and Corozal Town itself, Lord described the people of Belize as kind and appreciative of all the help, and that volunteers would experience that firsthand working side by side with them.

“Thank you for your payers and financial support,” Lord said in closing. “This allows us to really go and make a difference in the lives of the people of Belize — and them in ours — as we find Christ in this country.”

For more information, email Chris Lord, at: