Sunday, May 01, 2016

Where am I called to be?

Come over to Macedonia and help us.
Act 16:9

Ten years ago, in May 2016, I made a trip to Honduras that led to my presence here.

The event that actually precipitated this move was a trip to New Orleans in March, 2016, with fifteen people from St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Ames to help in the clean-up after Hurricane Katrina.

This experience led me to consider something “more” in my life. I had worked for almost 23 years in ministry at St. Thomas and had no plans of moving on – until the experience in New Orleans.
Following Sister Nancy, May 2006
In May, after a visit to El Salvador, I visited Sister Nancy Meyerhofer in Honduras. I have known her since about 1992 in El Salvador. I had been receiving her e-mailed reports on her presence in Honduras. I wrote and asked if there might be some way for me to help in the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán. She told me to come and talk with the bishop.

I ended up visiting Sister Nancy in Gracias for a few days. On Saturday we went to a rural village. But before going I had read the first reading for that day, Acts 16: 1-10.

Paul had been prevented by the Spirit from going to Bithynia and so found himself in Troy. There a Macedonian appeared to him in a vision at night and invited him:
Come over to Macedonia and help us.
I had been in El Salvador before I came to Honduras and had visited a site where there was an opening for a US worker. But something called me to Honduras, even though I had many connections to El Salvador (and still do.)

But that day in May 2006 I felt the call to be in Honduras.

After much prayer, discussions with my spiritual director and friends, and making arrangements in Ames to leave St. Thomas and sell my house, I found myself in Honduras on June 13, 2007.

Yesterday, I went in a bus with 62 other people from the parish of Dulce Nombre de María where I serve, to the diocesan youth gathering in Santa Bárbara. It was a long day but several parts of the day stand out.

The readings included the reading from Acts that I had heard almost ten years ago that ended up brining me here to Honduras.

After Mass and a procession to the Santa Bárbara church with the thousands of youth present, I came across the bishop.

He confirmed that, God willing, I will be ordained for the permanent diaconate in the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, on July 9.

Another stage of my mission in life is to begin.
“Come over … and help us.”

1 comment:

Charles said...

Congratulations on your appointment, Brother John!