14 missionaries will be going to serve the poor. Please help sponsor them and keep them in your prayers. Financial donations can be sent to Mary Our Queen, 6260 The Corners Parkway, Norcross, GA 30092. Please write in the memo line of your check "Honduras Mission". Thank you and God bless.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Thanks to all our Benefactors

"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.

From L-R (Top Row): Fr. Yosef, Fr. Felix, Fr. Richard, Fr. Justin,
Fr. Pascal, Br. Ignatius, and Br. Ruffino.
Bottom Row Apostolates "Friars in Training":
Alan, Nelson, and Christian

“It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourself and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.” - St. Pope John Paul II

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.

In Christ,

Tom, Meghan, Paul, Franklin, Joe, Mark, Russ, Deacon Mike, Ami, Andi, Adriana, Briana, Claudia, and Colin. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

“The important thing is not to do a lot, or to do everything. The important thing is to be ready, at all times; to be convinced that when serving the poor, we really serve God.” – St. Teresa of Calcutta
Loading metal beams onto the trucks

Loading the stainless steel sheet metal
It takes an hour to reach our mountainous destination. This is the "flat part" of the drive.
We can’t believe we only have one full day left in Honduras. We’ve had another beautiful day here and our crew is operating at full strength. We sent another team up into the mountains to try and finish up all the roofing projects. Tomorrow, we will go back to the mountains for a half day’s work for touch ups.
The Di Rito's haul the sheet metal through the Honduran countryside - the road is too rough to drive the trucks everywhere (Meghan can't bi-locate - this picture is from yesterday)
Porta Paul
For every house we've worked on, we've had to strip out the old roof
Andy on the roof
Honduran rush hour traffic
Meanwhile, back in Casa Guadalupe, a group helped out with the Cenaculo children’s feeding program again while another group did some work around Casa Guadalupe. Rust was scrubbed, garage doors were painted (four coats of paint was needed), and rooms were swept and mopped.

Amy and Fr. Yusef

Meghan and Adriana painting the garage door

Meghan, Fr. Yusef, and Adriana

Russ and Deacon Mike sanded and washed this metal gate

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40
In Christ,
Meghan and Colin

The Joy of Children

"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you. He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle." - Saint Pope John Paul II

Family  joyful to have a new roof over their home in the Honduran Mountains

Today, our construction teams continued work on four different roofing projects in the Honduran highlands while Father Yosef accompanied by Joe and Adrianna went on house visits to bring Communion to the sick and elderly. Whether in the mountains, or in town, the children we meet a long the way bring us all so much joy. 

Br. Ignatius eating lunch with kids during Cenaculo at Casa Guadalupe.

Briana and Claudia make bracelets for the children at one of the mountain job sites.

Meghan takes a break from roofing to greet the children.


"Jesus declared, 'I praise You Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.' "

Adriana, Briana, and Claudia pose with a child outside Casa Guadalupe

Franklin, Tom, and Russ after another tough, but joyful day of roofing


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Work Day 2

Today, we returned to the mountains and continued work on the two houses as well as starting a third house. We couldn't help but stop and admire the view of the Honduran countryside.
Russ, Tom, Mark, Andy, and Franklin take a break from hiking up the mountain

The Geriatric Squad takes down the old roof

Meghan, Fr. Richard, and Colin

Russ, Deacon Mike and Andy - what a beautiful view!

Las Ninas had fun playing with "Las bombas" - the balloons

A panoramic shot: what a view!

Fr. Richard must have been a professional roofer in a former life

Adding the last sheet metal up on the roof
Fr. Pascal made a friend
Meanwhile, back at Casa Guadalupe, a group worked with Cenaculo, which is a feeding program for children. There is one program in the morning and another in the afternoon. The program teaches the children about discipline, responsibilities, and good manners. The children wear different colored aprons that have different chore meanings including serving lunch, sweeping, cleaning, etc.

Brother Ruffino plays for the children at Cenaculo

The children prepare for their meal at Cenaculo

We've definitely had our challenges down here in Honduras: half of our team has caught "the bug" which puts them out for 24 hours (be assured they are getting the best of care). Please pray for us as we work through this unexpected challenge!

In Christ,
Briana, Meghan, and Colin