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

well, we finally found time in the christendom students' busy schedule to take a family portrait:

Happy Easter! what an excellent three days we had, we are truly blessed.

i'd like to wish annie quast, our nurse practioner who has spent 16 months down here working in town, in the campos, and in haiti, a round of thanks for her work. she has left us and returned to the states - say a prayer for her, she spent a lot of time caring for the people and all will miss her.

Easter day is determined by calculating the date of the first sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox:

since we can't actually enter and pray in the adoration chapel until tomorrow after the Vigil, we can at least see what it looks like:

happy Holy Thursday - we're just about ready for Mass, and we'll be using the new adoration chapel as the altar of repose. i'll try and get a picture for you all. God bless.

as i'm walking back home from the river in a wet t-shirt, flip-flops, and my bathing suit, a girl runs up to me and says, "padre, minerva's house is burning down!" so i run over to minerva's (who is a wonderful old lady who comes to daily Mass) and see the flames shooting up from her kitchen, which stands (stood) about 8 feet behind her house. the men are trying to douse it with water and the women and girls are running around to all the neighbors getting the water that everyone had lugged up from the river. we haven't had water in the pipes for 4 days, and no rain for almost 4 months, so things are dry and this old kitchen is burning hot and fast. we furiously grabbed buckets from the girls, tossed the water, grabbed another bucket, tossed more, etc. until we had the thing out - luckily the house was spared thanks to some quick water throwing and lots of help. i think the whole town turned out to help - we've already agreed to build her a new one tomorrow - the plans are drawn up, the proper permits have been acquired, and materials will be purchased in the morning. she'll be cooking dinner tomorrow night: try that in the states...

it's Chrism Mass under a tree day.

sorry for the delay in posting, but life has been hot. well, really hot. like 101.5 degrees hot. plus, our router may be on the fritz, as it's been malfunctioning. in addition, lent is progressing nicely, the adoration chapel will be inhabited on Holy Thursday, and we just celebrated the patronal feast of pedro sanana, St. Joseph. however, in the midst of all of that, we found time to mount part of the awning on the enramada above the school - this thing weighs a bunch, but the cool part is the welding...

it's amazing how amazing God really is, especially when you think He can't amaze you anymore, He amazes you yet again. case in point: the parish stands on a basic city block, with the exception of a double lot on one corner, adjacent to the school. this space is occupied by an older man who refuses to tend the land and the house. somehow, by God's grace, he approached us to sell it - we had no money. then the money came. then we worked and haggled and finally decided on an amount. then the judge did the paperwork. then the judge claimed that the "cost" of the paperwork was 16,000, 10 percent of the purchase cost. i told the deacon to go ahead and pay it, but to let the diocesan lawyer know about it because it sounded like he was taking us to the bank. so, the deacon goes over to the judge and says, "we'll pay it, but i need a receipt to give to the diocese." the judge says, "16,000? i meant 6,000." so there you have it, the church now owns the entire block. we will take apart the old house and make a nice little half-court for the school kids so they no longer have to recess in the middle of the garden...and hopefully, if God continues to Will it, build a house which could be used for a family who God might send down to the mission.

today i went to pomito, one of my favorite places, about 45 minutes on bike and another 45 uphill. the interesting part of the journey, well, aside from the two young bulls who were locked in mortal combat in the middle of the road and whose mother almost killed me as she blasted into them to stop the battle, and the two hogs 50 feet later who were doing the same thing, was a tip i received from fr murphy about a 75 foot water fall on the way to pomito. i checked it out and it looks like we'll be doing a little cliff diving once the rain starts and the pool at the bottome fills up to an adequate depth.

fr jack is back! well, he's gone now, but he was here, for the whole weekend.

my finger is healing.

i'm perturbed - why does the united states congress feel obliged to spend tax-payers' monies on questioning baseball players as to their steroid use? don't they have better things to do than to interrogate baseball players? i just don't get it.

i would like to take some time out of our regular routine to thank the merciful maidens of holy trinity parish - an intrepid group of 9-11 year old girls who made "cookies in a jar" and sold them at the Christmas baazar. i guess you can just add some butter and eggs and then cook up the stuff and you have good cookies. in any event, they sold enough jars to donate $180 to the school. so, thanks young ladies, keep praying for us. (if you have any extra cookies feel free to send them down to the address on the right...)

here is the first pic of the adoration chapel - painting the sanctuary, kneelers, and high altar tomorrow. hopefully we'll be open within one week!!! (update: having looked at the picture, it's quite deceiving because the ceiling is about 12 feet high, which you cannot see, and the walls are white, not washed out yellow like it appears. i'll get a more accurate color pic after we paint.)

today we begin construction on the high altar for the adoration chapel.

hopefully we'll have some pictures by sunset.


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