About Operazione Mato Grosso
Operazione Mato Grosso (OMG) started off as an adventurous trip with the idea to help others. In 1966, Fr. Ugo asked a group of young Italians to travel to Brazil for the summer to help his missionary friend, Fr. Pietro, build a school and health post. By July of the next year, 21 young people left for the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. After four months of work, they were not able to complete the building, and some decided to stay. Those who returned to Italy started to raise money to support the
mission. Today, there are 120 groups and 1,400 volunteers. After its positive impact in Brazil, OMG expanded its mission to Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. The mission now includes 110 different communities across Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. Its missionaries – young people, families, and priests who volunteer their work completely free – perform numerous activities in different
sectors: education, labor, health, agriculture, technology, social and religious. Giving the opportunity to young people to remain in their villages while earning an income and improve their lives. In this way, they are no longer forced to migrate to other countries in order to earn a living.
In the UNITED STATES
The volunteer efforts have long been established between Europe and South American, and young people from the U.S. are gradually becoming more involved. Every summer, OMG organizes a month-long trip to Peru. Meanwhile, a group of teenagers and young adults have started to raise money to support the missions in South America. The group meets 2-3 times per week during their free time to do volunteer work in landscaping, painting, moving or cleaning. Everything earned in pay goes directly to the charity.
Artesanos Don Bosco
Artesanos Don Bosco is a non-profit that was created in 2008 in order to support our
artisans, with a market in the U.S. for their skilled work. The Baltimore-showroom, in Federal Hill,
displays Peruvian-made furniture, sacred art, stained glass, handmade paper and much more. Every purchase at this store helps sustain the artisans’ trade, their families, and their larger communities. This is our mission. Volunteers run the entire organization, including the Baltimore store.
Visit the website for the artisans here - https://www.artesanosdonbosco.com/
And read about the charity from OMG here - https://www.artesanosdonbosco.com/charity/
A Highlandtown parish since 1923
At Our Lady of Pompei
Our Lady of Pompei is the focal point for Operazione Mato Grosso in the United States. The partnership between the church and OMG was made by Fr. Lou, former pastor. Our Lady of Pompei has had the pleasure of working with two Italian priests dedicated to the work and charity of Operazione Mato Grosso. Fr. Luis Cremis (deceased) joined the parish in 2001 and helped begin our Hispanic ministry.
Fr. Giuliano Gargiulo, current administrator, joined the parish in 2016 to reinvigorate our Hispanic ministry. Since 2016, our parish has worked to instill a sense of service and charity into the youth of our parish. We have a youth group consisting of teenagers and young adults who volunteer their time to help those in need, ranging from painting, moving, or what whatever help is required. The group also helps collect for our annual food drive to help the mission and people of South American.
If you are interested in learning more about our youth group and OMG, please complete a volunteer form with your contact information.
Read more about the work of Fr. Ugo and the volunteers of Operation Mato Grosso.