More than 2500 college students in Chile were sent on a mission to serve the country’s rural Catholic communities, while the country is expecting Holy Father Pope Francis in less than two weeks. The young people who come from 40 different schools are expected to help 90 communities across Chile to spend 10 days sharing their faith with more than one million families, leading youth and family activities and building chapels.

As reported by Catholic News Agency, His Eminence Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, Archbishop of Santiago, conveyed to the students that “Looking at all of you, we see that the Church is alive. A Church that’s in the communities, in the university. That’s the Church that Pope Francis will find in Chile and it’s your mission to take her to the streets.” Guillermo Tagle, director of Catholic University’s Campus Ministry, remarked that “Welcoming Francis’ message, our initial goal was to build 50 chapels in the peripheries and to symbolically give them to the Pope. Before his visit, we will be able to complete this project.”

The students will participate in two projects: some will build churches in rural towns and some will lead evangelization retreats in the same villages. The mission projects were organized by the Chilean Catholic University and by an offshoot Catholic college offering technical and professional degrees.