Friday, December 19, 2008

Award-Winning Parish School: Colegio Parroquial San Francisco Javier

The youth are the hope of tomorrow and so their formation today is central in the mission of the Church.  The parish school here in Bánica, now in its 5th year of operation, is contributing marvelously to this mission.  

The "Colegio" currently enrolls 175 students from pre-K through 8th grade.  The teachers are dedicated and hard-working and the fruits of their labor are seen in the students' national test-scores which rank better than any other school in the District.  

The school day here in the Dominican Republic is half of what it is in the US; older students attend during the first half of the day and younger students attend in the afternoon.  Photos of the two groups are shown here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Robust Youth Apostolate!

Unlike American youth whose lives are often inundated with stress, media, and over-activity, the youth of Banica are in a much different situation. Their lifestyle is very easygoing (perhaps too much so), and they lack sufficient activities. The good news is that this makes them very much available for participating in religious activities.

Here are photos of three youth groups that meet weekly. Approximately 60 high school students participate in the youth group here in the town of Banica; 30 in the nearby pueblo of Sabana Cruz (mostly girls), and 25 in the nearby pueblo of Higüerito (mostly boys).

Please pray for them, and especially for those among them whom God is calling to the priesthood and religious life. Certainly there are a good number of such vocations among these 100+ young men and ladies.