Monday, September 08, 2008

Confirmations and comedor

Monday, September 8, the Nativity of Mary, was the feast of the parish of Dulce Nombre de María – the Sweet Name of Mary – where I’ve been helping.

This year Bishop Santos came to confirm 100 or so in Dulce Nombre in the morning another 50 in the village of El Zapote in the afternoon. I had led the retreat in Zapote and helped with the retreat in Dulce Nombre. About 100 confirmation candidates and their sponsors arrived fro the retreat – more than we had expected. During the retreat Padre Efraín heard the confessions of all the candidates and many of their sponsors.

I was unable to get to the confirmations in Dulce Nombre on Monday, since we were opening the comedor – the lunch program for poor children – on the same day. The comedor has been a dream of Bishop Santos and a group started working on it last September. Finally we are beginning this work of mercy.

The comedor has spurred some local support. A teacher at the Catholic University, Kevin Cruz, had his class bring some basic food stuff; and so we have more than 100 pounds of rice, beans, and sugar, more than 60 pounds of pasta, and much more which will cut down the costs for the first month or so. In addition, he arranged that a university conference of the Marketing Department made a generous financial contribution. A class from the Santa Rosa Catholic High School also made a contribution. There is hope that more will support. My hope is that a fair number of people will begin to come and help us each day.

Monday, despite having enrolled about 30 children, only 14 arrived, and some of the parents of those who came were concerned about the distance they had to walk to get there. We will be re-evaluating how to respond to the nutrition needs of these and other children here in Santa Rosa.

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