Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Sunday celebration in Dulce nombre

Sunday morning I went out in bus to Dulce Nombre. My car is still in Esperanza, Intibucá – about three hours away by bus.

I had hoped to spend a little time talking with Padre German and giving him the latest suggestions for the material for the baptism preparation of kids from 7 to 14.

I arrived to find the church astir – and Padre German visiting someone for breakfast. There was to be a celebration to thank those in the town of Dulce Nombre who had been involved in a fund-raising effort. It also was going to be a birthday celebration for Padre German whose birthday is Monday.

Padre German Navarro
Here people make a big deal about priest’s birthday’s and ordination celebrations. The church was not packed but it was decorated.

The music group from Plan Grande, La Gran Familia, was there to lead the singing at Mass. I was glad because I find them a really good group – and easy to listen to. They are not usually as loud as other groups. They write their own songs, though they didn’t use any at Mass.

La Gran Familia - The Big Family
At the end of Mass another music group, Mensajeros de Amor, walked up the aisle, serenading Padre on this birthday. I also like this group because they are so different. They sing religious rancheros, some of which they write.

Mensajeros de Amor, Messengers of Love,  walking into the church
After Mass there was a meal (with lots of meat) for the musicians, the leaders of the fund-raising campaign, and some other parish leaders. Both music groups entertained the gathered crowd.

Mensajeros de Amor playing at the meal.
In the midst of pain and suffering, people find reasons to celebrate and people are willing to share their talents. It was good to be there.

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Two side notes – on sacraments:

One interesting announcement by Padre at Mass: People who have been living together for five years, whether civilly married or not, will have the opportunity to sacramentalize their marriage until December. There will be a series of sessions they will have to go to. My guess is that we might have a large number of church weddings.

On a similar note: The effort to offer baptism for children under seven has been well received in several places. In several communities there are parents and godparents taking part in the five sessions and retreat to prepare for the baptisms. I have heard figures of 75, 50, and 100 children to be baptized in several places. Before the requirements were stricter and the parents had to be in a base community and in some cases there was a demand that the parents be sacramentally married. Obviously there is a desire for the sacraments.

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