Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 31, 2008

It's been a beautiful morning here in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras and the headquarters of Sociedad with Sr. Maria Rosa. I had Mass with the children of Pedro Attala, Sister and some of her staff. She has a beautiful chapel here full of Easter lilies and a few inspiring statues, a great refuge from the poverty around us. Pat and Larry (from Cleveland) are already off painting at Pedro Attala. I was able to visit and see that they have been inspired (through the intercession of Vince Lombardi?) to paint the buildings green and gold! The children are sweet, not allowing me to walk without several of them holding my hands and arms. I've also had the chance to speak more with Sister and her staff about several needs, from power generation to a house of prayer that Sister calls "Yo Soy", which means "I am". Sister also shared with me about Fr. William, a Canadian priest who died in her place when Sandanistas came looking for Sister, but she was gone. They asked for money, but he never carried any. They killed him when he protested their rudeness. I hope to go to where he was killed today. I also will go to the Basilca where Mary appeared, who they call Our Lady of Suyapa. Later, I'll return to Nuevo and rejoin the others. Please keep us in your prayers as you are in ours. Sister sends her love. Fr. Ed


January 30 It has been another adventurous day, beginning at Nuevo Paraiso, which is our compound in the countryside. Fortunately, Carol Nelson had a good night in general after breaking her wrist yesterday in a fall at the medical brigade site. She was a trouper despite the pain, getting a tour of Honduran medical treatment that was fit for a queen, which was difficult for her, having seen the poverty here. Hopefully she can share more of that story. Meanwhile, most of our group (Fiona Matheson, Trish Warfel, Grace Daniels the Extraordinary Translator, Ruth Doanes, Deacon Marshall Denby) headed back for another medical brigade in the countryside where they weren't sure if the team would have to get out of the bus while it fords a stream. Part of our group (including Mike Warfel, Pat Bader and Norm Matheson) has been inspecting the water situation at Flor Azul farm and gathering lots of valuable information. Pat Flanigan and another team member from Cleveland came into Teguz to paint some of the orphanage (Pedro Attala) here in the city. I've been saying Mass for Sister Maria Rosa at Flor Azul yesterday and then here at her chapel in Teguz with the children from Pedro Attala. I forgot an English missal so all my Masses are in Spanish for the most part. The Hondurans are very respectful and haven't laughed. You all remain in our prayers and gratitude. Father Ed

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Just checking to make sure this is working, I'm sending off the instructions to our folks in Honduras! Blessings to all, hope to hear from them soon!
Cindy Mortimer

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ready or Not

Today's the day we leave for Honduras. It's exciting, but also there is an unknown. The malaria meds make one a little woozy, but hopefully everyone will be clear-headed by the time we land in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. Thanks to all for your prayers and support. We hope our time there is a blessing both to St. Stephens as well as the people of Honduras. We hope to post notes daily if you have the chance to follow our journey.
peace in Christ,
Fr. Ed

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mission Team Prepares for Departure

Honduras Mission and Beyond

This week 11 of us, including myself, will be in Honduras by the grace of God, seeking to serve the people of Honduras as well as the other missionaries with us. What began as a simple call from my brother (who is a doctor in Cleveland) three years ago, asking if I would be interested in serving as priest/chaplain to a medical mission, has evolved into a group of 25 people from the Seattle area going to engage those who are most in need of our help. As the focus of the group from Cleveland remains on medical provision, the northwest teams are evaluating the water quality needs and power generation needs of the Boy’s Ranch attached to our mission. It seems like a fitting gift from the wet northwest, where we tend to have clean water in abundance.

In addition to any material aid we give to the people we will meet, our hope is to also be a source of encouragement to them. There is a moral strength that comes from visitors who have invested time and energy in helping someone whose options can be so limited. There is a realization with the children of Sr. Maria Rosa, who runs Sociedad de Los Amigos de Los Ninos, that they are not alone in the world, as difficult as it may be. Aloneness is perhaps the most debilitating cross of any suffering. While we won’t be able to solve all their problems, we can be with them in those circumstances, if only for a short time.

This encounter of course is not one-sided. Far from it, as anyone involved in charitable work realizes, it’s the giver who actually receives more than the receiver. As St. Francis prayed: It is in giving that we receive. How true, the poor enrich our lives through contact with them. In this exchange, we come to realize our own poverty and short-sightedness. The struggles of these persons to make it through the day can make the ‘hang-nails’ that we call problems rather trivial. Somehow the poor whom Jesus called ‘Blessed’ give us a blessing that endures longer than the pills and potable water that we might give.

I say ‘we’ above as if we are all rich, but I know there are people in our own community who struggle to afford humane housing, medicine and other necessities. Some have suffered loss of home and job. Still others know the pain of other devastating loss. Poverty comes to all our doorsteps in one form or another. The Christian task is to greet it with faith, hope and love. May love meet our own poverty that we might comfort our neighbor, whether they are in Honduras, across the street, or in our own home.