Monday, October 22, 2012

Heading home to Honduras

Wednesday I’ll be flying back to Honduras. The short trip has been a good chance to meet with people and to share a bit of my mission in the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán and especially in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María.

A little while ago I found an e-book on line of Ivan Illich, The Church, Change and Development, which includes talks and articles from about 1970. I started reading them a few days ago. They are quite challenging.

My favorite quote, so far, is from “Yankee, Go Home: The American Do-Gooder in Latin America”:

If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go to hell! It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you are so linguistically deaf and dumb that you don’t even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you. And is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as “good,” a “sacrifice” and “help.”

Challenging and worth pondering.

"Hector, I have no idea what I'm doing!" (Photo courtesy of Scott Satterlee)

There's an article on me this week in the Dubuque archdiocesan newspaper. Download the pdf here.

Addendum: The Illich book can be found here.


Charles said...

Thanks for uploading the article.

50 priests for 1 million people. So one could do communion once a year for a normal size congregation.


John (Juan) Donaghy said...

though the priests don't get to every village, the parishes are divided into zones and/or sectors and there are often Masses in the different parts of the parish and people come to them. Also there are lay communion ministers who bring communion to different Sunday Celebrations of the Word in the villages, which are led by local lay leaders. This promotes the leadership of the laity.