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

Last week, I visited for the second time in my fours years here one of the more remote corners of the world, a town in my parish known as La Llanadita. This is a village of 8 houses, located on a mountaintop of nearly 4,000 feet. I celebrated Mass and baptized a half dozen children. Of those participating, nobody received Holy Communion, and I was conscious of keeping things simple and staying away from the details of the Lenten season that even veteran Catholics find a little confusing. Well, imagine my surprise when upon having lunch with the folks I decline some meat in honor of a Lenten observance and my hostess states that she doesn’t eat meat during Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent. Just when I think a community is completely in the dark about the faith, a beam of light cuts through. (photo pending better satellite connection)


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