"And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we saw His glory, the glory, the glory as the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth." - John 1:14
Just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you, our benefactors in the United States. Your financial contributions made it possible for Mary Our Queen Catholic Church to fund the travel expenses of 14 missionaries this year. Your donations purchased for us the raw materials (sheet metal, cement, nails, screws c-beams, etc) needed to build new roofs for seven different families this week. Some of the homes and families are shown below.
|2017 Mary our Queen Honduras Mission Team with the Capuchin Friars of the Renewal|
Mark holds the ladder for Franklin. Tom
in the background (Home #2)
L-R: Paul, Francisco, Andy, Meghan, Claudia, Briana, and
Br. Michelangelo pose with family under their new roof (Home #4).
|Andy, Fr. Felix, and Joe at Home # 7 (Mark is taking the photo).|
|Fr. Pascal with Home #3 family.|
After finishing our construction projects, we all enjoyed a cookout with the locals on top of the mountain. Your financial contributions allowed us to buy enough food to feed multiple families yesterday afternoon. Short of an occasional flour tortilla, this was the only time I witnessed the people in this particular area of the country eat lunch since we began construction on Monday. When Jordan, a four-year old boy who helped us all week carrying supplies up the mountain to his home, was asked if he had eaten anything, his sheepish reply was “No hay comida” – there is no food.
|Preparing food for the cookout on the last day. From L-R: Karen, Iris, Nelson, Milka, Juan, Christian, Tom, Pamela, and Franklin.|
Apostolates Nelson and Christian lead the children in song before the cookout.
On our final night in Honduras, the Friars hosted a good bye Fiesta for Brother Ignatius at Casa Guadalupe. Brother Ignatius leaves for the United States on Sunday in order to go to seminary. He has been influential to the Cenacolo children’s ministry for the past three years, especially through his music. During the Fiesta, our mission team and the Friars served dinner to the families, while Brother Ignatius and Nelson performed live music. Financial contributions from you and other benefactors help fund programs such as Cenacolo, the children's ministry held Tuesday through Thursday, in which the Friars feed many of the impoverished children in the local area.
Above: Br. Ignatius performing, "Good Good Father," Christian song by Chris Tomlin.
Below: Br. Ignatius singing with the children in the Cenacolo ministry
A special thanks to our hosts, the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR). The CFRs are a Catholic religious order focused on serving Christ through community life and service to the poor. The order is founded on the rule of St. Francis of Assisi, and today spans all across the world in impoverished areas.
After six years of temporary vows, the CFR’s make final vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Or as they say at the friary in the Bronx, NY “No ‘bling bling,’ no ‘sweet thing,’ and ‘Obey Christ the King.’ Despite the cost, the Friars we met this week lived out their vows with so much joy and peace. Br. Michelangelo remarked (paraphrase) that at first he thought he was giving something big to God, then he realized that becoming a friar was rather a tremendous gift from God to him.
Br. Ignatius reads to a child at Cenacolo.
Despite making vows of chastity, the Friars are spiritual father figures to many in the area.
"And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more..." - Matthew 19: 29
Despite making vows of material poverty, all poverty ceases at the banquet of the Lord. Some of the Friars go off to seminary to study to become priests. The Friars are active contemplative religious, meaning that they celebrate daily Mass and live a life of prayer, thus receiving the graces necessary to go out and bring the light of Christ into some of the darkest places of the world.
|L-R: Fr. Yosef, Fr. Felix, Fr. Pascal, Fr. Richard, Fr. Justin celebrate morning Mass.|
Some final pictures....
|L-R: Deacon Mike, Briana, Adriana, Claudia, Meghan, Br. Ruffino|
|Colin and Joe|
Thanks again to all our friends, family, and benefactors who joined us on this fun ride, either through your donation, or through your thoughts and prayers. As we write, we are sitting in the Honduran airport, waiting for our flight home to Atlanta. We can’t believe that our time in Honduras has already come to an end. Thanks for your generosity. All praise, honor, and glory to God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Tom, Meghan, Paul, Franklin, Joe, Mark, Russ, Deacon Mike, Ami, Andi, Adriana, Briana, Claudia, and Colin.