Monday, September 29, 2014

Preparing for confirmations

This week the bishop, Monseñor Darwin Andino, will be confirming more than 500 people in the parish of Dulce Nombre, in seven different locations.

I have been busy visiting and working with the catechists and those in the liturgical ministry to prepare the liturgies. I have also been preparing the bishop’s booklet as well as the materials for the liturgies.

It has been good to meet with the people, many of whom have been working hard in the preparation of young people for confirmation. Of course, there have been some problems, including some confusion about arranging for those who had not yet received their first communion.

Padre German has been busy. In addition to his rounds of Masses in the villages, he is hearing the confessions of the candidates for confirmation and their sponsors. He has had some long days and nights.

I’ll be busy all this week. I promised the people that would arrive at least an hour before each confirmation Mass to help them make sure that everything is prepared. I’m pretty confident that they will be ready in most places, but a little bit of accompaniment and friendly reminders always helps.

Just a note on the weather:

We have had a prolonged dry season which seriously affected some crops – in our area, mostly beans. In other areas, corn was affected and there was such a drought that several agencies have sought emergency assistance including some food aid.

The rains have finally begun in earnest – sometimes with great force. The other week there were delays on one of the roads in the parish. A tree had crashed and cut some power and cable lines. But, as I analyze it, this was not caused only by the rain. One of the largest coffee growers (more than 1000 acres, I believe) had cut down a lot of coffee bushes (probably because they were affected by the coffee fungus roya). He had also excavated a road up the mountain leaving the tree without sufficient earth. So, when some of the earth was washed away in the rains, it fell.

cleaning up

note the bare hillside

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