Monday, February 10, 2014

The presence of the Dubuque Franciscan Sisters

Saturday in Gracias, Lempira, the Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family (commonly known as the Dubuque Franciscans) celebrated the first vows – temporary vows – of a Honduran member of their congregations, Hermana Erika Calderon.

The ceremony was celebrated in the San Marcos Church, with Padre Elias Calderon (Erika’s uncle) and Padre Loncho presiding at the Mass.

Except for the responsorial psalm, all the music was led by the group from Erika’s home village in the parish of Gracias which included, I believe, her father and two uncles. Cristian, a young boy from Gracias, sang the psalm.
Sister Erika with Sister Nancy Schreck
Sisters Pat Farrell and Nancy Schreck from the governing board of the congregation had come to witness the vows. Pat gave the reflection on the readings.

Sister Pat Farrell giving the reflection
Erika had chosen the call of Samuel in 1 Samuel as the first reading, expressing her willingness to respond to the call of God in her life.

After the Mass there were tamales and rice, which Erika and others served.

It was a beautiful day, a reminder of the presence of the Franciscan sisters here in Honduras for more than 8 years, serving the poor, including the imprisoned.

As I took pictures during Sister Pat’s reflection I couldn’t help but notice the banner beside her, from the previous Sunday:

Blessed are the poor in spirit...

I was delighted to be there, especially since I have been an associate of their congregation for a few years - recovering the Franciscan roots of my life and spirituality.

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