The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

some cultural adjustments test my mettle: today when we arrived on two motorcycles at a school for Mass, we were informed that we needed to move the Mass site (i'll spare you the pain of that ten minute conversation). there were about 8 ladies and a few little girls who needed to be transferred, so we began carting them on the backs of the bikes. when i went back for the second time this little girl, about 8 years old, jumps up behind me and grabs ahold. then this women with her baby decides to climb on behind her. i turn around to make sure that they aren't falling off and are ready to depart, and she's undoing her shirt. i'm trying maintain an unstable equilibrium on a bike built for 2 laden with 4 humans and she's breast feeding her baby. i asked if she thought that was safe and she just looked at me like i was crazy. so there i am - carefully guarding our pace so as not to lose any of the passengers, passing right through the middle of town with this woman's shirt flapping in the breeze, with people waving and shouting greetings - they probably thought i was sunburned...


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