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Hi, we are SHINE Catholic Missions

Thanks for checking out SHINE, (formally SHINE Catholic Work Camp) and for wanting to know more about the ministry. This is our story.



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Dawn & Augie

SHINE Founders

Leal Family

Augie, Allysa, JaiMichael, Dawn, Jordan

It was the summer of 1998 that newlyweds, Augie & Dawn, began working in a Texas parish. Dawn was in charge of programming and Augie was in charge of leading music for Life Teen Mass. They both had  a passion for empowering and working with teens so, in the summer of 1999 they took their teens to a Steubenville Conference followed by a "work camp." Although they knew nothing about "work camps," they had a great experience. The idea of doing back-to-back summer trips was crazy and something most youth minister's would never take on. Yet, Augie & Dawn were up for it. The following summer, Augie began searching for something Catholic based that offered serving those in need, daily mass, adoration, and most importantly, the Eucharist. His vision would change the dynamics of their ministry forever and transform the lives of their family, teens, and parish. After a lot of prayer and consideration, Augie & Dawn decided to create a new style of "work camp."


This camp was not going to be like anything else out there. They planned to create something that would combine daily mass the way Life Teen did, adoration the way Steubenville did (on a smaller scale), and serving the needy and elderly the way the work camp experience did. It would begin each day with mass; have awesome, high energy praise and worship music; focus four days of serving the needy and elderly; have awesome staff members that were fun, approachable, and made everyone feel like family; have a night just for fun and games; have powerful skits, great testimonies, and a time to pray for one another; have a night of adoration and reconciliation; have nightly youth group prayer time and chapel; have delicious home cooked style meals and would end with a night of open mic and fellowship. Now, it would need a name!


"We allow Christ to be within us through the Eucharist and then go out and serve one another. It is then that we become the light of Christ and SHINE" - Augie


Hence the name, SHINE!


Since the summer of 2000, SHINE has impacted many through the Eucharist and through serving those in need. Augie & Dawn now have 3 children (22, 19, 18) and they are a very big part of every SHINE. You will find them at every mission week making sure things are running smoothly. Augie leads music and helps run the program area with JaiMichael, while Dawn runs the office making sure everyone is taken care of. Allysa helps run the kitchen and sings for daily Mass and Jordan helps where she is needed. They, along with an awesome team of young adults, help make SHINE one of the best Catholic Mission experiences around.


What an honor it is to see or hear that other Catholic work camps/mission weeks model themselves after SHINE. Now entering its 22nd year, SHINE changed its name in 2019 from SHINE Catholic Work Camp to SHINE Catholic Missions. Why you ask? Well, it's because of what the ministry has been doing for the last 21 years, which is partaking on a mission from God to serve those in need. At SHINE, it has never been about being the biggest. Rather, it has always strived to be the best mission week experience where the focus is on faith, family, and friends.

If you are looking for something Catholic, unique, and fun, then please pray about and consider joining us this summer! You too can become a part of the SHINE family where you are free to "let your light SHINE!"



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