Thursday, August 21, 2014

Busy weeks

Even though I haven’t written much this month about my ministry in the parish of Dulce Nombre, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy.

About 108 catechists attended one of the four catechists workshops we had in the four different zones of the parish. They shared what they were doing in their villages – with limited resources and, often, with not enough catechists.

Catechists' training
I knew that there were three groups of young people meeting. There are about three others in the works – and perhaps we’ll be able to help other communities work toward more youth groups.

However, we are trying to avoid the idea of mere “youth groups.” The idea is that the young people would form their own base communities of young people, with youth leadership. I have suggested that we have a few training sessions for four young leaders from each community where there is interest and some organization. What is critical in my mind is that we have young people as the leaders. The catechists and delegates of the Word should accompany and assist the youth – but not be the ones responsibility for the group.

Padre German has asked me to see what we can do toward this – finding or preparing materials, finding people to help us with training sessions. I’ll be busy.

I’ve also attended the parish council meeting as well as the meetings of the councils in two zones.

I’ve also been monitoring the work on the house in Plan Grande. The roof should be on in a few days.

One beam for the roof in place.
 I also attended the meeting of the small coffee farmers cooperative in El Zapote de Santa Rosa. They chose a name “Cooperativa Café Hacia El Futuro” – Cooperative Coffee toward the future. They prepared a list of needs and I am assisting them in looking at places where they might find help.

Four members of the cafe producers' coop
I also had to take a trip to Tegucigalpa – about 5 hours away in car – to get a new residence card. Though I have a permit fro five years of residency (ending in 2017) I have to get a new card each year.

I dreaded the trip. I don’t like Tegucigalpa; there are often long waits in the migration office; and its two to four days away.

I decided to drive, but to cut off one hour by staying Monday night in Gracias with the Dubuque Franciscan sisters.

I arrived at the Migration Office about noon. I got my form, paid my fee (about $20), and went back to wait to be seen by a migration worker. I waited a few minutes and a very friendly woman saw me, took my fingerprints and photo. she told me that I would have the card at 1:30 pm, that day. I was amazed.

Of course, it didn’t arrive at 1:30 – but at about 1:50. That’s the shortest time I’ve ever spent there – less than two hours.

I then decided to get out of Tegucigalpa and head home – figuring I’d have to stay the night some where between Siguatepeque and Gracias.

But I got lost in Tegucigalpa – which is a confusing city. I thought I knew the way out – follow CA5 north. However, the roads are not well marked and the map I had was very poor. So I wandered, lost, in Teguz for about an hour. I asked at six gasoline stations and got directions, but I was confused.

Finally I made it out of Teguz and stayed the night in Siguatepeque. 

The trip back was rewarded by some amazing views in the Jesús de Otoro valley.

Rice field near Jesús de Otoro, Intibucá, Honduras
The next two weeks are not as busy as the previous ones, though I’ll visit a number of communities and take video’s of the cooperative’s fundraiser on August 30 – a horse race. José wants me to put the videos on the internet!

September, though, should be busy.

Padre German has asked me to work with the catechists and the liturgical ministry in each place where we will have confirmations – all seven of them.

There is also a meeting of the delegates of the word, where I’ll help in the formation.

I will also try to connect with some of the youth group leaders as well as try to find good material for youth – as well as for First Communion.

And I’ll have to monitor the building project as it winds down.

In all this, I continue to feel as if this is where God wants me to continue my ministry – and living out in the countryside will help.

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