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

For those wondering of my whereabouts, at least for the past week, I’ve been in my parish’s backyard. 25 hours, from 2:30pm to 3:30pm, to traverse from the top of the parish, Francisco José (home of the world’s best coffee), to arrive back to Pedro Santana (base camp). Quite a profitable trip: 30 baptisms and 4 marriages. The marriages are the first I’ve performed in either Bánica or Pedro Santana in the 2 and a half years I’ve been here. I would have had more marriages but two couples told me that they couldn’t get married in November because it is the month of the dead. Despite the non-sequitur, I have to respect the catholicity, I don’t think there are many of those married in the Church in the US that could tell me that November is the month of the dead. When it comes to the marriage issue, one would think that the Catholic Church just arrived on the shores of this island, then again, there are things that are just beautifully Catholic. One of the couples whom I married had their proud godparents in attendance. I may have not explained too clearly here. My couples had all been together, living as man and wife, for on average 20-30 years. Another personal interesting anecdote in gathering the facts of the couples, is that a few of them were grandparents by my age. (For those unfamiliar with the Fr Murphy bio that would be 37 years). I don’t know about you but that’s a challenge to my modern Northern Virginian perspective. When life is simple, why wait around? And by the way, why is our life so complicated? Is it our pursuit of things? Or is there a nobler reason? I’ll save it for another blog.

Back Yard of San José Parish


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