Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fr. Murphy, the "Loma Priest"

The Diocese of Arlington generously provides two priests to serve this region of the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana.  Fr. Chris Murphy has been serving here for the past 3 years.  He is pastor of the parish in the neighboring town (Pedro Santana) and also has charge of 20+ outlying missions in the mountainous region along the Haitian border.  

This past weekend I joined Fr. Murphy in his regular visit to 5 mountain pueblos - a few photos can be seen below.  

Fr. Murphy is a true missionary priest as he travels many kilometers every week through treacherous terrain (on his motorcycle and sometimes on a mule) to reach his parishioners.  This weekend I was privileged to see how much he loves his people and how much they love him.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Missionaries must ride...

Fr. O'Hare comfortably riding past the parish's basketball court.

Lulun, the parish's motorcycle instructor, and Fr. O'Hare, before a lesson.  Mrs. O'Hare, please notice that your son is wearing all the appropriate safety gear - don't worry for a moment.  

Our two dogs

This photo proves that Bautista (a mutt pup who arrived on the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist) is not afraid of Sixto (the young dog who arrived on the feast of Pope St. Sixtus).  It's a safer and a happier place with these two creatures around.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More photos

Some of Fr. O'Hare's new parishioners - children in the pueblo of Palistal.  The young boy on the right is trying on Father's shades - a future priest perhaps?

A photo after Mass celebrated in the pueblo of Rincon Grande Abajo.  

Fr. O'Hare, Cassie Kepler, Estefani, William Kirby, and a boy from Banica hanging out at El Centro (the youth group center run by the Kirby Family).  Cassie and 12 other teens are here from Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church (Woodbridge, VA) helping to build the new chapel in the pueblo of Palistal.

Some photos of the past week

Fr. O'Hare, Bishop Grullon, and Fr. Murphy after the celebration of the Diocese's Patronal Feast Day Mass of St. John the Baptist

Friday, June 20, 2008

Succeeding a great priest...

Following Fr. Gee's example I have decided to set up a blog.  I think it will serve three purposes:
1) Give glory to God by describing the great things He is doing here in Banica and the surrounding pueblos.
2) Provide a window into the Banica mission so that all who are interested, especially the priests and people of the Diocese of Arlington, can appreciate how this outreach of the Diocese of Arlington is bearing fruit. 
3) Enable my family, friends, and loved ones to keep me in their hearts and their prayers.  

Today is my first full day here at San Francisco de Asis in Banica.  The photo of Fr. Gee and myself was taken in the sacristy after the Wednesday night holy hour.  Fr. Gee is a great priest and I am honored to be following in his footsteps.  

Como El Padre Gee he decidido crear un 'blog' - por tres razones:
1) Para dar gracias a Dios por las maravillas que El esta haciendo aqui en Banica y los pueblos alrededor.  
2) Para que todos los que estan interesados, especialmente los sacerdotes y la gente de la Diocesis de Arlington, puedan apreciar el fruto de esta mision.  
3) Para que mi familia, amigos, y seres queridos puedan mantenerse unidos conmigo mientras que estoy sirviendo en un lugar tan lejos.  

Hoy fue mi primer dia aqui en la Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis en Banica.  Esta tarde despues de la hora santa que tiene lugar todos los miercoles tome una foto con el Padre Gee.  El Padre Gee es un magnifico sacerdote y para mi es un gran privilegio servir las comunidades que el ha servido estos cinco anos pasados.