I have not written for over a week for a number of reasons.
First of all, I took part in the diocesan pastoral assembly from Monday to Thursday as secretary. Trying to keep on top of all that was happening and being said was a challenge – and I did lose my cool a couple of times. But I think the meeting opened the way for the diocese to move forward and be less hindered by the past. I was particularly struck by one of the bishop’s talks where his openness and sharing of his story may have opened up a way.
I returned home on Thursday afternoon but Friday we had confirmations in two places in the Dulce Nombre parish – and there is another Mass of confirmations today. Since I have been working with the catechists and helped them and others prepare the liturgies I have been trying to get there ninety minutes before the Mass to help them make sure that most everything is ready.
|Confirmation site in Delicias, Concepción|
There were many moving moments in the liturgies, especially in El Zapote de Santa Rosa.
Before Mass I encountered a young woman who is disabled, who has difficulty speaking and cannot walk. I talked with her and her mother and noted that she was very happy to be here for the confirmation. During the Mass I noted, since she sat in the front row, how she sang with great gusto. I was touched by her desire for God.
One young man from Plan Grande who is disabled was unable to participate because his condition worsened and he couldn’t be transported safely to the confirmation site. Though disabled, possibly because of a blow to the head when he was a baby, he had attended all of the religious education for the sacrament.
But there was also the joy I experienced to be able to sponsor a young man here – one whose father, a policeman, was killed a few years ago and who is being raised by his grandparents. I was particularly touched when he came up to hug me at the Greeting of Peace.
|Several of those confirmed from Plan Grande with Bishop Darwin Andino|
Next week I’ll be in jail again for two days – helping in a workshop on Alternatives to Violence. I’m glad to be able to help out in this since we all need to develop the skills to respond creatively and patiently to conflict.
Then a visitor is coming from Ames.
Life is busy – but blessed.