Monday, January 26, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Seven young men from the parish recently participated in a weekend discernment retreat for young men considering the priesthood. Over 50 young men from the Diocese of San Juan de La Maguana participated.
I didn't pressure any of these young men to participate - I just made the announcement at the weekend Masses and they each told me that they are sincerely considering becoming priests.
Two weeks after the retreat I hosted a dinner for them at the rectory so that we could talk about their experience. These are some of the "cool" kids in Bánica and so it was inspiring to hear them speak sincerely of their interest in the priesthood. Most of them spoke of the aspiration to be a man who preaches and who helps others. (Priests in this region dedicate themselves not only to sacramental ministry but also do a lot of community organizing and working with public works projects.)
Please pray for them: their names are Hanibal, Lewis, Joel, Sterling, Nito, Nuno, and Mello. (Two more wanted to participate but were unable: Martire and Macho.)
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Last week 63 teenage girls from Bánica and several neighboring campos piled in to the parish bus and Land Rover for a vocations field trip. Samantha and I had the pleasure of introducing them to the consecrated religious life!
First we visited the Missionaries of Charity who run an orphanage in the nearby town of Las Matas (no photos taken at the request of the Sisters). Then we visited the Cathedral (most had never seen it before) where we prayed and Samantha gave the girls a brief reflection on discernment. The day concluded with a visit to the cloistered Franciscan Sisters in San Juan.
It was an unforgettable experience for the girls and I am sure that the Holy Spirit assisted at least a few to begin to hear their call to the consecrated life.
Photos show Samantha giving a talk to the girls in the Cathedral in San Juan, listening to a talk by the Mother Superior of the cloistered Franciscan Sisters, and then a shot of the whole group in front of the monastery.