St. Benedict Joseph Medical Center

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Team Member Testimonies

Dr Mark Tasch

It seemed, at the time, a mere matter of happenstance. I just happened to be by the phone when it rang. The caller was hoping to find an anesthesiologist who could go on short notice on a mission trip to Honduras. I answered off-handedly, “Well, I guess I could go.”

I enjoyed, even beyond my expectation, the camaraderie of our mission group, the freedom to work simply for and with others, and the dignity and inner joy of our patients, whose daily lives consist of struggles well beyond my understanding. I had looked forward to spending time with the friars (which, considering that I am non-observantly Jewish, was a source of some puzzlement to my friends) but could not have anticipated how much I would value their spiritual hospitality and friendship.

The rituals of the operating room readily lend themselves to a sense of the sacramental in our daily activities. After almost thirty years of clinical work I first appreciated this in Comayagua. It is still far easier for me to hold on to this sense at San Benito Jose than anywhere else. The common refrain of medical mission testimonials is entirely true - what little I may give to take part in this work is dwarfed by what I receive each day.

I have gone on two mission trips to Comayagua, and as each mission has come to an end I have been eager for the next to begin. That simple statement, “I guess I could go,” has become, to my gratitude and surprise, one of the most rewarding I have made.

Dr. Mark Tasch


MJ Isbell

For many years I have longed to make a medical mission trip. My wish came true in March of this year when I was fortunate to join a group going to Comayagua with Light of the World. It is difficult to express in words how I felt during and after the experience. Midway through the first day I was overcome with emotion and feelings of joy. It was a real privilege and an honor to care for the beautiful people in Honduras. This touched me very deep in my heart but even deeper in my soul. Caring for these wonderful people has to be one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever encountered. I look forward to returning in the future. We were all truly blessed. Thank-you and God Bless you all.

Mary Jane Isbell


Schoppe Bros

When I committed to this mission, I thought it would primarily be a medical experience. After my first daily Mass, I discovered quickly that this would be a time where God would be speaking directly to my heart. In the medical portion of the mission, I had the absolute pleasure of serving the poor. Little did I know that I would gain from them more than I could ever hope to give. Every person that we treated demonstrated extreme gratitude, came with no expectations, and always left with a smile. I would quickly like to add that this experience was even more special to me because I got to share it with one of my best friends,… my brother Paul.

Dr. Joe Schoppe, Podiatrist (left)


The team of folks that come together to make the medical mission possible are a living example of Christs body working in harmony—ALIVE! I realized that the poor are the true princes and princesses of the world. The true humility lived out by the poor serves us with an example that I will continue to embrace and try to follow. I am indebted to the poor of Honduras for sharing their treasures with me during my short visit. We are so blessed in Christ. Thanks be to God!

Dr. Paul Schoppe, Podiatrist (right)



In January 2006, my husband Dave and I were honored to serve as helpers with several dentists and their assistants during the Lions Club/VOSH mission at the St. Benedict Joseph Medical Center. Speaking for each and every one of us, we greatly appreciated being able to work in your clean, modern clinic. At least 25 men, women and children came to us each day. We were particularly pleased that many teeth were restored at your facility, where we had access to necessary equipment.

Many thanks to the staff for their encouragement, constant friendliness and help whenever we needed it. We are proud we were able to join the local Hondurans and the Lions/VOSH mission to work with St. Benedict Joseph to improve the dental health of the poorest of the community. Thank you for that rewarding opportunity.

Bev Fiandt - Indiana, USA


K Ranne

I have traveled to Comayagua six times, working on the medical mission teams of Light of the World Charities from Palm City, Florida. With each trip I have grown as a Catholic, a nurse, and a person. I can feel my faith strengthening, my desire to serve increasing, and my ability to place the needs of my brothers and sisters in Christ before the needs of myself.

My greatest sense of appreciation is for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Comayagua. The Friars have each made a profound impression on my ability to think and act like a true follower of Christ. They have accepted a way of life, modeled after the life of their faith father, Francis of Assisi, and the way he tried to be faithful to the poor, the hungry and those most in need of strength from faith. Before meeting the Friars, I was not so sure of God’s plan for me, and what role in the Church was especially for me. The Friars have shown me the way, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I can accept my vocation as a parent and lay servant of Christ with a renewed sense of commitment and gratitude that comes from doing the work God has planned for me.

I am also grateful to Light of the World Charities. With each new trip to Honduras I have met new friends, strengthened relationships with old friends, and expanded the scope of my service to those most in need. For all of these things I am truly thankful.

Kathleen Ranne



Having gone to Honduras last year, I knew the wonderful satisfaction derived from helping these beautiful people. This year I felt different. I did not want to go because life had just left me too busy, cleaning up after the hurricanes. I was trying to work extra hours to make up for lost wages, and I didn't want to lose even more income. And, to be honest, I was uncomfortable with foreign travel and all the unrest in our world. I kept saying to my husband, "I just want to be home with my family." But, I had given my word to Theresa [Banks, president of Light of the World Charities]; I had made a commitment.

As soon as our plane landed I knew it was right to have kept my promise. By the end of our third day, I felt like the most spoiled, selfish person. Everywhere I looked, my broken roof, fallen trees and moldy carpets seemed so frivolous. When I spoke with Fr. Herald I told him that the trip gave me so much more than the little I gave up to come. Instead of looking at all the rough things we have been going through, my spirit was lifted. Now I better appreciate all that was salvaged. I am grateful God brought Theresa, Fr. Herald and Honduras into my life.

Laura Gregory, Recovery Room Nurse


Kathy OBrien

"I can't begin to tell you what an experience this was for me. The team was great, 21 people in all working together to reach the same goal, to give a little back to those less fortunate than ourselves. I might have helped a bit, but what I came away with was much more than I gave.

I have known for a long time that God has been calling me to help the poor. He has started opening the doors and I will do all that I can to serve as His hands and feet here on earth."

Kathy O’Brien
Norwalk, Connecticut
Surgical Physician's Assistant







Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
Convento San Serafin
Apartado 331
Colonia Francisco Morazan
Comayagua, Honduras
Central America