Dirt Poor But Beautiful
While Fr. Gee has been solving international crime, Fr. Murphy has been in the remoter reaches of the his parish of San José (the Loma) getting to know his parishioners. The week long trek involved the catechetical expertise of Sister Gracia (long time Loma treker) and our volunteer for the year Julia Peterson. Both played an essential role in giving Fr. Murphy the opportunity to get to know and teach the poorest and most isolated in the parish.
The exordinary news is that Bishop Grullón's new road now reaches the longtime intended goal of the village of Sierrecita. Which means that a trek that previously took 7 hours from Bánica (booking it on motorcycle and foot), can now be done in 4 hours (WITH OUT A 4 HOUR HIKE!). Imagine, it takes as much time for me to reach this village in my parish than it does to arrive in the capital. The greatest part of this news is that there isn't a chapel in the parish that I can't reach in a day now.
The people are in a tough stretch of meagerness this time of year. It's still a few weeks before the rain starts up again and they can begin to plant. Most get by on one meal a day till June. This doesn't dampen their hospitality and I was impressed with the number of men who sacrificed this crucial time in their field to attend our Lenten retreat. The fact is they need more from us and I can't get to them without a truck. The people are open to the Gospel, but they need so much more exposure for it to penatrate. (E.g. so few marry) We're down to one pickup truck between two parishes. I hope the diocese and the new Mission Task Force can come through for us.