Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Break in Rancho Grande

I flew directly from Arkansas (see previous post) to Honduras to accompany a contingent of college students from the US on spring break to a mission in the mountains led by Missioners of Christ. I stayed in Tegucigalpa for a few days catching up with some young adults I had worked with in the past, but had not seen for several years. Most are affiliated either with the Salesian Lay Cooperators or the Catholic charismatic community, Victoria de Dios. When I was working with them, most were students, now they are medical and business professionals. I was edified and encouraged to see they way they are striving to live their faith in the midst of the challenges Honduras is facing as a country.

Fr. Baltasar and I at the opening Mass in Rancho Grande.

The team was composed of a group from Texas A&M University, and another of FOCUS missionaries and students from different campuses throughout the country. After a weekend of training at Casa Guadalupe in Comayagua, on Monday, March 12, to our "mission base:" Rancho Grande, a town belonging to the parish of San Luís. Fr. Batlasar, pastor of San Luís, preached at the opening Mass, which we concelebrated. About eight years ago I had the privilege of directing Fr. Baltasar's ordination retreat, and preparing him to celebrate Mass and hear confessions.

Warm-up games with the children outside the church.

Each day there were home visits in the morning, programs for children and youth in the afternoon and Mass and confessions in the evening. The children's program was the liveliest and most well attended (over 100 each day).

Teaching a song (above) and coloring a sheet about Lent (below).

The larger group of students was broken down into six smaller teams, each assigned to a different village base. I remained in Rancho Grande with three Hondurans, three Americans and a Canadian. Different families in the community prepared our meals.

Isaac (from Texas A&M) translates Colleen's (from Seton Hall) testimony.

Home cooked breakfast for the team at a lay leader's home.

On the mornings of Tuesday and Thursday, I traveled with Missioners Honduran leader Maynor Vallesteros to villages where two other small teams were stationed: San Rafael and Posito. On Wednesday, our local Rancho Grande team hiked to one of the outlying neighborhoods of the town, La Peña.

Mass (above) and a team photo (below) at San Rafael.

Don Celio, lay leader of San Rafael, drying fish (on the line)
and black beans (on the ground).

Rancho Grande female team members crossing the bridge to La Peña.

The cicadas were out in force and making lots of background noise.

On the home visit trail in La Peña.

Isaac, down by the riverside.

Coming down from the chapel in Posito.

These kings in Posito aren't long for this world. But their slaughtering was interrupted
by the herd of buffalo (below) passing through town.


Team Rancho Grande.

Saturday, the day before the college students left, we did an afternoon of activities for the boys and youth of the Granja Jesús Nazaret.

Jake does the high step at the Granja.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Fr. Harold for all the good work you are doing in the mission fields. I see you are headed back to Africa in two weeks. I will offer my pains and sufferings (even the new one i have in my back) this Holy Week for your successful trip and mission. May our Lord Jesus Bless your walk.