Monday, November 18, 2013

Another busy week in the Dulce Nombre parish

This past week I’ve been in the parish four days.

Two days I was finishing up the series of workshops for catechists. This session we had 93 participants in the four workshops in different zones of the parish.

Catechists' training in Dulce Nombre
Friday was the pastoral council meeting which lasted into the afternoon. A lot of things need to be discussed – including the upcoming parish assembly, December 6-7, when we do evaluation and planning for the coming year. We also clarified the two “lineas de acción” for the parish for next year:

  • formation at all levels in a spirituality that is rooted in the Eucharist, the sacraments and solidarity (formación en todos los niveles en una espiritualidad eucarística, sacramental y solidaria)
  • evangelization and mission as essential elements of our Catholic identity (evangelización y misión como elementos esenciales de nuestra identidad católica)

This will be very interesting. In my evaluation meetings with the councils of three of the zones of the parish, I found a real yearning for formation. That, of course, will entail more work for Padre German and me. I also think we need to think about setting up formation teams in each of the zones. That will be a more challenging task as we seek people who can really teach in a way that uses a popular and participative methodology (one of the concerns of Padre German).

Sunday I went out with Padre German to two rural villages for Mass. I drove – to give him a rest (and to test out the "new" car, which I’ve named “Santiago” – recalling the Camino to the sanctuary of Santiago, Saint James, in Campostela, in northwest Spain.)

At Quebraditas he gave a long (35 minute) homily that was quite pointed, especially in regard to the situation of the country and the upcoming elections. When we were going to the other village, El Zapote de Santa Rosa, he asked me to give a reflection. I only spoke about 12 minutes.

Communion in El Zapote
This week the priests have a diocesan assembly and so I won't be out in the parish until later this week.

Also there is a period of silence for the political campaigns. Next Sunday, which happens to be the feast of Christ the King, Honduras will hold elections in more than 16000 5,000 voting places. Because of this the parish will not hold its usual all-parish Mass for the feast of Christ the King.

I mentioned in my reflection that the elections fall on the fest of Christ the King, partly to remind the people that in the face of fears and promises that have been bandied about during the political campaigns, we need to remember, as Christians, that the political parties don’t offer salvation, that only Christ is the true King.

We especially need to remember that we need to judge political candidates and public policies in the light of the Kingdom of God – a Kingdom of love, of justice, of peace, of life.

For my readers who are believers, I ask prayers for Honduras as we face serious challenges. May the elections offer us a few signs of hope, that the reign of fear and violence may start to be replaced by a reign of justice and solidarity.

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