Monday, October 29, 2012

Celebrating the confirmed in Dulce Nombre

In the last two months more than 400 young women and men were confirmed in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María.

Many of them are already members of a base community in their villages and towns. But how many of them will persevere in the practice of their faith and assume responsibilities in the parish?

In order to encourage their continuing growth in faith, Padre Efraín is encouraging the young people to form their own base communities, with a spirit that speaks to the young.

To help this happen, the parish had a gathering of the confirmed on Saturday, October 27.

The church was decorated – and a banner from the youth of St. Thomas Aquinas parish greeted all as they entered the church.

Greetings to the confirmed of Dulce Nombre from the St. Thomas Aquinas youth."

The church was packed for the Mass that began the celebration. The Mass was a nice celebration with the singing led by the Plan Grande music group La Gran Familia. 

After the homily, Padre Efraín gave a booklet to help the formation of the youth base communities to a catechist and the confirmed from the villages.

A nice touch was the offertory procession, where parishioners brought up not only a cross, the bread and wine, copies of the diocesan and parish pastoral plans, but also a shovel and a hoe, to symbolize offering our livelihoods.

After Mass, we went out to the cancha, the soccer field behind the church where Padre Efraín blessed the field.

And then the games began – 24 teams: 22 men’s teams and 2 women’s. 

The Dulce Nombre parish team (top row Gabriel, Mauro, Fernando; kneeling Elder, Carlos)

Let the games begin! - ¡Que comience el campeonato!

Las mujeres jugando

The tournament was still going when I left at 4 pm.

Padre Efraín got into play

During the games, all present were served fresh orange juice, empanadas (stuffed tortillas), and ticucos (a local favorite – corn meal with beans, chipilin, and spices, cooked in corn husks.)

A few of the hundreds of ticucos made for hungry young people.

A half-eaten ticuco

As they finished the second round of the tournament a beef soup was served. 

Sopa de res

I left early, content to see so many young people who took their faith (as well as soccer) seriously.

It is good to be here.

It was also great that there were several signs of solidarity in addition to the banner from the youth of St. Thomas Aquinas. Confirmation candidates from a parish of a friend in VInderhoute, Belgium, had sent money which was used for the booklets for the confirmation follow-up. The Knights of Columbus from St Thomas Aquinas Church in Ames, Iowa, had sent money to help feed the young people. Soccer balls that a St. Thomas visitor had left were the prizes for the tournament.

The Church reaches to the ends of the earth – and the young are our hope.

More photos can be found in a set of photos on my FLICKR page. Click here.

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