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

the parishoners love nothing more than taking a saturday and having a retreat in the cave. so, we loaded up the trucks and headed out to the cave. i was planning on saying Mass to begin the retreat. as you may or may know, there is an enormous bee hive at the entrance of the cave. to date, no one has ever been stung by these bee protectors. however, as about 50 of us were milling around waiting for the others to ascend, something happened and these bees went beserk. just started stinging everyone. people began yelling and flailing, which just sent the bees into a greater frenzy. so, we decided to retreat down the mountain. since we all have to pass the hive again, it created more confusion and commotion and more stings (long haired girls had it the worst as the little guys just embedded themselves into the hair). well, we finally made it down, greeted the people who were waiting to go up, turned them around, and ended up in the parish center. i took 3 to the hospital, one of which was incredibly swollen. but, we all made it out alive and celebrated Mass in the center and then took this group picture:

happy feast of Corpus Christi!! after Mass we had a procession around the park. as we began it was drizziling a bit, but with hardly a cloud in the sky. oddly though, as soon as we entered the church and reposed the Blessed Sacrament, a downpour the likes rarely seen began and lasted for 20 minutes. a few of us went outside and just let the high pressure flood of water from heaven just shower us...the rest cranked up a rosary and as soon as they finished the rain stopped.

just when i thought i had seen every possible critter in my office, i was again suprised. to wit: i have seen various spiders, rats, mice, snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, crickets, ants, lizards, mosquitos, flies, and probably some i have forgotten. then, about 8:30 last night i enter the office and the dog starts barking and scratching. what do i see on the floor, huddled against a plastic tool case? a crab. that's correct, a good old-fashioned crab about 3 inches wide with some nice sized claws. our only guess is that he climbed up from the river...i wonder what's next????

hurrican season has already begun! well, actually, it doesn't start until june 1, but tropical storm adrian is already in the eastern pacific and getting ready to head into the gulf of mexico.

112 hours without electricity has finally ended.

check out the new playground/basketball/volleyball court!! should just be three more days until we begin that adult 3 x 3 league!!! well, the kids get to recess on it too...

wanna try something fun? ride a motorcycle through that red dot in the middle...

fr jack has come through with a couple of photos of the interior of the cathedral:

and now for the new cathedral: (it's an octagon. we were there during the feast of the Ascencion and the bishop was celebrating Mass, so i couldn't take any pictures of the inside)

update: fr jack chimed in and says that the old cathedral, at least part of it, is 500 years old.

continuing our photo journal of hinche, we present the old cathedral. i have no idea when it was built. however, i know they have a new one, which is why this is the old one.

patroness is the "immaculate Conception", if the statue didn't give it away...

what a great trip - we set an all-time record, traveling from banica to thomassique to hinche in under 2 hours. it used to take fr jack anywhere from 4-6 hours in the truck. beautiful ride, not too much mud, cruddy roads. it's only about 40 miles each way, so we were averaging about 20-25 mph, which is fast.

below is a picture of father murphy, our good friend junior charles and his mother. junior fell from a tree a few years back and he can no longer walk - but he is an intelligent and kind soul, and gets around fine. he's planning on graduating and advancing to college. we didn't know where he lived and we were searching and searching to no avail, no one seemed to know who he was, so i said a quick prayer to st anthony and 30 seconds later we almost ran over his's always good to see a new place and set land speed over distance records. plus, the whole western side of haiti is open to us now...

we're heading off on an adventure tomorrow morning. we're attempting to ride the motorcycles to beautiful hinche, haiti, the capital of the province and the seat of the diocesan bishop. i'll take pics. it's going to be a long haul, about 4-5 hours on the motorcycles round trip, so say a prayer for a safe journey.

trying again


testing a new blogger widget

i returned to no electricity, water, or internet. the dog had lost a fight and was tending his wounds too. nevertheless, i had a great retreat. thanks for praying for me.

new look on the blog. i may get sick of the black and white, but there you have it.

boy, it's great to be back here.


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