Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Feast of St. Anthony of Padua in Tegucigalpita

San Antonio de Padua chapel, Tegucigalpita, Atlantida, Honduras.
On Thursday, June 13th, I traveled with Fr. Vicente Gomez to the outlying community of Tegucigalpita for their patronal feast of St. Anthony of Padua. Fr. Vicente is a priest of the Diocese of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, who recently came to serve in La Ceiba. He has been entrusted with a sector of the cathedral parish that includes Tegucigalpita. When I'm in La Ceiba, I will be assisting Fr. Vicente is the poorer communities of his sector in the outskirts of La Ceiba. We had both been wanting to visit Tegucigalpita for some time, but due to the other pastoral demands of the parish and poor road conditions, we had been unable to until now.

Some members of the San Antonio community.
Manuel Solis, a lay leader from the nearby community of San Judas (St. Jude), and two religious sisters also stationed there, have been visiting Tegucigalpita regularly to teach catechism to the children and lead Sunday celebrations of the Word of God. They worked hard to animate the community and prepare them for their patronal feast day. Despite heavy rains, there was a great turnout for the celebration.

Fr. Vicente Gomez presenting a newborn during the celebration.
Fr. Vicente celebrated the Mass (I had already celebrated earlier that morning), and - as is the custom - he presented two newborn children to the Lord and the community at the time of the offertory. A music ministry team of two brothers led us in song. Their extended family is the backbone of this little Catholic community.

The two brothers who comprise the music ministry.

Two Messengers of the Immaculate (religious sisters),
who teach catechism in the community.
We enjoyed some delicious arros con pollo (rice and chicken) after Mass; it was a really joyful celebration for all who participated. After this visit we are hoping now to make more regular trips for Sunday Mass when possible.

Group photo at the end of the celebration.

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