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

we decided to hold the living stations today instead of having to piggy-back the Good Friday celebration after them like we usually do. things went very well, we actually prayed the entire stations as if we were in the church. here's a little photo album, click on the link and then on the clide show button for the big pics.

via cruces

Our cat, Squeaky, gave birth about two weeks ago. This was her third litter with her consistent 3 kittens per litter. For two days now I’ve walk by this box counting kittens and scratching my head wondering, How is it that yesterday, there were four, today, there are five? It seems our worker, Juan Bosco, has been playing Good Samaritan and sneaking some abandoned kittens in the box. Well, in a parish named after the saint of good-report-with-animals, Francis, I can’t take issue with these clandestine adoptions. Everyone seems happy. I’ll see to it that mamacita’s milk rations are upped.

I don’t think that I’ve explained clearly enough the dimensions of my parish—it’s big! This week we (Sister Gracia and I) planned a Lenten retreat with the intention of visiting our 6 districts in the Loma. It has also been a March without memorable precedent. This is the season that things are normally hot, dry, and dreary with fields and mountainsides burning. As weather is known to do, it changed. There are men in their forties who don’t remember a March this wet since they were young boys. Well, to attend to our retreat in Rincón, our Land Rover used all its British bells and whistles to scale the muddy and ruts passing for a “road”. We were hoping to meet up with two of the parochial mules for the trek to La Peña (a 1000 foot vertical ascent in just a few miles). The mules weren’t coming because the river Joca was swollen with the recent rain, so we made the decision to take the hour hike with just what we needed for the retreat and return that afternoon. We would head into Layamaya the back way after getting some sleep in our own beds. For us to get to this little village we would backtrack 4 hours (1 hiking & 3 driving), drive an hour the next morning and with our packs on the mules we would arrive 3 and half hours later. A total of nearly 8 hours of travel time for a detour that placed us in a village where four people attended Mass (one even communicated) and the rest were our taking advantage of the rain (i.e. planting early). Well, at least the very green scenery is nice to behold.

this lent we decided to begin what will hopefully be a long-standing tradition: the soup dinner after friday stations. the idea is to have everyone who prays the stations on friday evening sit down afterwards and eat a simple bread and soup dinner, and then offering some sort of alms, thus tackling the three classic penances of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving with one thrown stone.

last week we had over 100 people attend the soup dinner after praying stations, so things seem to be well, except for the fact that the alms were less than 100 pesos. i guess 2 out of 3 ain't bad...

Thanks to Pete Benedetto, the following photo was possible. Six months after Pete and I hauled the pvc piping and water tanks from the capital, the community of Rincón has begun their aqueduct project according to the plans and the piping Pete gave them. BTW, if anyone has Pete’s e-mail, I’d like to send him more info, but I’ve lost most my e-mail addresses recently. (This could be why you haven’t heard from me—but most likely I’ve been lazy.)

Before this Lenten season slips away, I need to highlight some of our projects that have been accomplished this March through help of some friends from the States. Both groups from Christendom College and Marymount University gave up their spring breaks to spend a week in our parishes. With the guidance of Fr. Jack Peterson, Marymount University Campus Ministry (13 volunteers strong) put a garage on San José parish and built a house for a family who lost theirs due to fire. Our parish of San Francisco hosted 25 students from Christendom who spent their time building a chapel for the community of Pilón and painting two other chapels (San Andres & La Heradura). FYI, the community of Pilón, which never had a chapel, is the home of our first priestly vocation from the parish, Pedro (de Pilón) Mateo.

Working on the garage of San José

A helping hand to the homeless

We’re back! We’re all back. I apologize for any insinuation that our cat Gaebo had been eaten by locals. Not that such a custom is unheard of, but miracles of miracles, this cat of ours shows up after a full two month absence. He left us to go courting, but he left with a bum paw, so after a week I figured he was a goner. The MIA moniker I assigned him wasn’t far from accurate. I would have been more right to say that he was a POW. When he returned to us. He was nothing be skin and bones. He was covered in scars and had a two inch bald swath around his caller; as if he had been tied up. So, we can only assume, he broke free of his bondage and made a break for it. It must have been some distance judging by the calluses on his pads. Where was he? We can only speculate. But interestingly, just as I was ready to indict to locals of cat eating, they are all ready to indict the Haitians for this unlawful bondage. Who knows? But his happy return, coincidentally, occurred the day after my parish began its novena to St. Joseph, in preparation for the feast we are celebrating today. So, Happy St. Joseph’s Day to all!

we are back online. after a nice 30 day lenten internet outage, we are pleased to be back in communication. obviously we have been busy and will update you later on the goings-on, but for now i'll leave you with a picture of our new puppy, bernabe's son, right after he finished eating a pidgeon he had taken down:


Powered by Blogger

© 2006 The Missions: San Francisco and San José |