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

by the way, for those who are interested, bernabé continues to heal and he thanks you for your concern.

the bell rang at 0520 and we headed out in the yearly procession of st francis at the beginning of the novena. we'll spend the next 9 days in a festive mood here in banica, with noise pollution growing day-by-day.

here's the group on the way up to the base of the cave:

so i'm sitting in my office on tuesday and stephen kirby walks in and says, "uh, father, your dog got hit by a truck."

"which one?"

"bernabe. you see, he was following me on my bike and was fighting with 3 dogs and then the truck hit him."

"is he alive?"

"i think so."

so, up i ride on my motorcycle to the entrance of town, with people pointing me along the way, and find my dog all beat up and sitting against a wall. i finally got him mounted on my motorcycle and drove him home, all bloody and panting. after various remedies including the application of warm salt water and burnt orange juice and children's aspirin it looks like he'll make it through.

you'd think after having been whacked twice he would have learned by now, but as someone so wisely put it, "well, he's been hit three times now and lived, so he'll never die if he gets hit by another."

in parish news, the school enrollment is at 167 and we are now in immediate preparation for the beginning of the great patronales, which begins bright and early at 0600 on monday morning with the procession of st francis and Holy Mass for Our Lady of Mercedes.

update time, things are in full swing here at the mission:

the school enrollment is now at 158 and climbing, an all-time high. the local grade school is under construction and none seems to know when it will be finished. looks like we might just fill up this year.

we have a workshop for all our catechists today. we're sending out the fleet this morning to pick up and deliver the 50+ catechists we have scattered throughout the parish. we purchased 1000 small catechisms (baltimore catechism style) and hope to have one in every house by december with accompanying classes.

our volunteer maria has embarked on a pilot program that may become the most effective program we have - we've set her up to teach religion in two public schools in the campos. she goes to each school twice a week and gets to 4 grades twice a week in each place. therefore, the kids will be getting two religion classes per week and from someone who actually believes. it will be very interesting to see the results over the next year, i'll keep you posted.

preparations for the feast of St. Francis are underway, the novena starts on 24 sept.

i'll dig up the camera this week and try and take a picture of two of the goings-on.


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