Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas 2014 letter

A blessed Advent and Christmas

Christmas crib (Nacimiento) in Plan Grande

This has been a year of many transitions.
Since last year I have been working more in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María – and loving it. Pastoral work in the countryside is what I feel called to.
Padre German giving me more responsibility and I’ve continued training catechists and preparing materials. I’ve also assisted in the training of delegates of the Word and base communities. There is more work next year; Padre has asked me to work with delegates of the Word (who lead Sunday celebrations in their villages) and youth leaders, as well as my continuing work with catechists.
To do this, I am withdrawing from work with the diocesan office of Caritas; I believe I can do more concentrating on ministry in the parish
I’ve also decided to move out of Santa Rosa de Copán. It’s comfortable living here – with easy access to restaurants and grocery stores. But I’ve been going out to the parish at least three days a week – which means more than an hour of driving each day.

I’ve slept in the house in Plan Grande since Friday, December 19. I’ve been to two Posadas as well as Mass on Sunday in the village church. It’s already beginning to feel like home.

So decided to move out to the countryside and chose Plan Grande, a good community which I’ve often visited. With the permission of the village church council I’m living there in a house I’ve had built – which will belong to the church after I leave or die (whichever comes first).  This enables me to be closer to the people and to visit the distant villages more easily. Plan Grande is almost in the center of the parish with almost all the towns and villages less than 45 minutes away.
I am very glad to move out there later this week and begin a new phase of my ministry.
This year I made two trips to the US – one in June for the ordination of two young men I knew when they were students at Iowa State; the other to Ames in later October to connect once more with St. Thomas Aquinas.
I sadly didn’t get a chance to get to the East Coast to visit friends and relatives; I haven’t been there for almost two years. If all goes well, I hope to visit after Easter.
I ask you to continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Visitors are welcome; just let me know in time. There are two guest rooms in the house in Plan Grande.


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