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

the new web page for the banica mission is fr. o'hare's well written blog which he is keeping up to date.

five and a quarter years ago i began the blog and today i end it.

obviously the last five years have been filled with excitement and today i find myself packing a single carry-on bag for my return trip home (it's going to be close) with mixed emotions. i'm certainly happy to be doing God's Will by returning to the states. at the same time, leaving banica and the people here generates a certain sorrow that is natural and good. i trust God will take care of all of us, as Christ promised in today's gospel. so, having said that, let's check out a couple of stats:

over 3,000 Masses celebrated
almost 1,000 baptisms
over 60,000 kilometers of off-road motorcycling (without a single crash, just a couple of stop-falls)
1000's of nails hammered into roofs and walls
too many chicken dinners to count
rice and beans for 1915 consecutive days

i leave knowing that the people in banica come to Mass every morning at 0700 and the people in the campos have been receiving Mass monthly.

the school should reach record enrollment this year.

the tractor has plowed thousands of acres.

we have all said lots of prayers.

i would like to thank all of you who have been reading this blog over the years for your prayers and support. i know that i wouldn't be here still without them.

i'd also like to thank fr o'hara, fr murphy, annie, zack, tara, julia, veronica, joey, máire, the kirby family, michelle, and bebhinn for being down here and taking care of me over the years.

may God bless you all.

signing off for good,

okay, lots going on here and i don't have my camera (don't ask). however, maria is doing a fine job of documenting the various events.

she hasn't posted on the big fiesta yet, but i suspect she will. it went very well. as a matter of fact, i can't, in my 5 years here, remember such a fine not-so-little party. there were plenty of people and some nice little remembrances of things we've done over the last 5 years.

a couple of days left. we're blessing the new grotto in the center tomorrow morning that mrs kirby had built.

happy feast of our Lady of Mt. Carmel (a day early).

tonight is the big fiesta.

they're busing people in and even buying ice, so there you have it.

it should be fun, but only if people decide to show up; i have had many people tell me that they can't stand going away parties so they won't come. we'll see.


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