Wednesday, December 14, 2011
|We were literally above the clouds (and sometimes in them).|
|Mass at San Marcos.|
|Adobe house on a hill in Palo Blanco.|
|Evening Mass in Palo Blanco -|
note the fragrant fresh pine needles on the dirt floor.
|A view of the cliffs between Guajiquirito and San Bartolo.|
|Confessions in San Bartolo.|
|Dedicating Baby Marcos (close up below) in San Bartolo.|
|It was a steep uphill climb out of San Bartolo.|
|But in gratitude, Don Julio (Baby Marcos' father) lent me his horse Morazan|
so I could get back to Guajiquirito in time for an anointing before Confessions and Mass.
|Evening Mass in Guajiquirito.|
|Closing day Eucharistic youth retreat in Guajiqurio Centro for 150 participants.|
Monday, December 12, 2011
Approximately 55 youth from various parts of Honduras and a few from Nicaragua participated in a week of intensive Christian formation at Casa Guadalupe (the friars' neighborhood/mission center in Comayagua) sponsored by Missioners of Christ. The schedule of the week included classes on different aspects of Catholic faith and life, workshops on the spiritual life and evangelization and times for personal and worship. I celebrated Mass most mornings for the participants and led the Holy Hours in the afternoon, as well as teaching two classes on the life and teaching of Blessed Pope John Paul II and leading evening discussions on apologetics during supper.
|Some of the youth who participated in the week of formation.|
Most afternoons during the week I went to the Granja ("the Farm" - a nearby Catholic boys orphanage) with a few young men participants to lead some recreational and formational activites for the boys. However, on Thursday a group of about 18 participants for a full afternoon program.
The remainder of the afternoon was comprised of fun-filled team activities. Carol Restaine, a consecrated lay woman Missioner of Christ, is a genius at coming up with ideas for young people to do. The boys were divided into four teams with members of varying ages, and each team was given a digital camera to use. There was then a series of tasks each team had to complete and capture with a photo graph. The teams received points based on how quickly they finished the task and returned to the base, as well as on which team produced the best result. The tasks included taking a photo with one of the animals and one of the workers at the Granja. Another involved spelling a word on the grass involving all the team members. Yet another involved taking a photo in which every team member could be seen, but showing as little as possible of each member. Everyone had a blast, and of course prizes and snacks followed at the end of the day.
|One of the teams with a cat and one of the Granja personnel.|
|Spelling "Fe" ("Faith") on the grass.|
|A photo showing everyone on the team, but as little as possible.|
Friday, December 9, 2011
|Towing a stalled vehicle driven by Maynor over the mountain pass (below) that leads to Comayagua.|
After the initial weekend in Honduras, assisting in the integration of new members of the Missioners of Christ community in Comayagua, we had planned to depart on Monday, November 21 for Guatemala. However a few unexpected (but not so uncommon) interruptions (like a car breaking down and needing to be towed). Delayed our departure until Tuesday.
|Fr. Victor Alvizurez, pastor of San Augustín Parish, Jalapa.|
|San José el Viejo Language School, Antigua, Guatemala.|
|Iglesia San Francisco, Antigua, Guatemala - where Santo Hermano Pedro de Betancourt is buried.|
|In the background, one of the two volcanos visible from Antigua.|
|One of the many ruins of churches in Antigua|
|A view of Guatemala city from one of the surrounding mountains.|
|Rodolfo Ruiz, Anna Julia Ruiz, Dr. Reina Turcios-Ruiz, Fr. Herald, Roger Blanco and Carol Restaine in Guatemala City.|
|Santo Cristo Negro (the Holy Black Christ) in Esquipulas, Guatemala.|
|Roger Blanco outside the Basilica of Esquipulas, Guatemala.|
|Convento Belén, Esquipulas, Guatemala.|
After this rather "whirlwind" tour through Guatemala, we landed back in Comayagua for a week of formation with youth (blog post to follow).
|Sanctuary of the chapel at Convento Belén (above and below).|
Fr. Bernardino has a deep love for the liturgy and religious art of Eastern Christianity, and is himself an accomplished iconographer. He combines the canons and classic forms of traditional iconography with color schemes taken from the artwork of the indigenous Mayans, creating a stunning result. One of the most fascinating qualities of the icons is the texture produced by overlaying colors in a semi-transparent way, sometimes combined with a slight bas relief effect. Additional icons by Fr. Bernardino can be found on pages 6, 7 and 8 of the "Galería¨at http://www.lavozdebelen.com.
|Icons in the chapel at Convento Belén; the Nativity (above),|
and the Entry into Jerusalem and the Transfiguration (below).
|Statue of the Virgin Mary clothed in the Franciscan habit.|
|Fr. Herald and Carol with Fr. Bernardino Quiñones, OFM, curator of Convento Belén.|
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
|Praying the Rosary with Missioners of Christ.|
|St. Seraphin Friary and Casa Guadalupe.|
|Provisional Chapel at the Granja, with statue of Jesus|
donated by Mary Our Queen Parish, Norcross, Georgia.
|Young man reading at Mass (he did a great job).|
|An attentive congregation.|
|Fr. Herald and Bryan (a Honduran Missioner of Christ).|
|A young boy fascinated by the articles used for Mass|
- a future vocation?
|A Down's Syndrome boy wearing one of the Ethiopian crosses|
distributed to everyone at the orphanage.
|Group photo after Mass.|
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
|The Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Gode.|
|Fr. Don, Medvin and Ethiopian children in Gode.|
|Camels along the road between Gode and Kelafo, and Kelafo and Godere (above and below).|
After being picked up at the airport we drove about 75 km through the desert (I’ve discovered that roads are approximate in Ethiopia) to the much smaller town of Kelafo. There Fr. Hartley and four Missionaries of Charity, in collaboration with the Somali NGO WASDI and the Czech NGO PIN (People in Need), have begun relief efforts for the 15,000 – 20,000 Somali refugees who have settled in the tiny village of Godere, so close to the border that Somalia is visible in the distance.
|Essential relief supplies for the refugees provided by the Missionaries of Charity.|
|The house of the Missionaries of Charity in the Godere refugee camp.|
|When fighting overtook her village, this woman became separated from her family;|
she does not know where they are, or whether they are dead or alive.
|When his last cow died from the drought, this young husband and father|
finally fled Somalia with his wife and three young children.