Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mission of Friendship: A Blessed Year in Review

Beth Boyd, addressing participants during
 the Sister Parish Day at Beloved Disciple, Grove City.
As we look to the end of 2011, I am determined to submit one more edition of the Mission blog so we can have a more complete picture of the year. Beth Boyd, former volunteer of the Mission of Friendship, created the blog in February and has generated many favorable and grateful comments from readers. She has kept it very well fed for the first eight months of this year, and we would like to share a few Mission highlights from where we left off in August.

The 7th annual Sister Parish Day was held on August 6th at Beloved Disciple parish in Grove City. The theme, “Celebrate Sister Parish Style,” focused on cultural events celebrated in Mexico during each month of the year.  Fr. Amilcar Matias Rosado Sosa, pastor of St. Stephen, Erie (“on loan” from the Archdiocese of Yucatan), and Beth Boyd, 2011 volunteer for the Mission of Friendship, served as the keynote speakers for the event. Enriching to the discussion, Fr. Amilcar described life in a Yucatecan parish while Beth discussed her work as a liaison between her home parish of Holy Redeemer (Warren, PA) and San Antonio de Padua in Yaxcaba, Yucatan.  The event was well attended and provided the participants with an opportunity for sharing and learning about matters pertaining to the sister parish program. We include a word of gratitude to the sister parish committee of Beloved Disciple who hosted the event so graciously.

Fr. John Jacquel (left), and Fr. Luis Martin Tuz.

At the end of August, Cari had a total knee replacement done in Erie, and the physical therapy that was required necessitated that Marilyn and Cari remain there until the end of October.  Thanks be to God, Cari’s surgery and therapy went well, and it was an easy to re-entry into the rhythm and pace of Mission projects in Merida.

October held another medical event for a long-time, but recently retired, Mission staff member. Dr. Roger A. Solis Canto had quadruple by-pass surgery done on October 2nd, with family and friends thoroughly shaken by the seriousness of his condition.  His recuperation was slow but steady, and in visiting him on December 23rd, he expressed gratitude for all the prayers and support he received from so many persons.  He stated that life now has new meaning in light of such a harrowing experience. 

Fr. Paul Siebert, right, pastor of St. Mark (Emporium, PA)  and Fr. John
Jacquel of Holy Rosary and St. John (Erie, PA). Next to Fr.
John is Fr. Raúl Alberto Moguel Urtecho, pastor  of St. Anthony of Padua in
Tinum, Yucatan.  Pictured are some of the children of Tinum.
November brought a number of visitors to the Mission. Among them, Fr. Paul Siebert, pastor of St. Mark (Emporium, PA) and Fr. John Jacquel, pastor of Holy Rosary and St. John’s (Erie, PA) came for some rest and relaxation with sister parish visits planned along the way. Fr. Paul has visited his sister parish in Tinum, Yucatan on a number of occasions and frequently discusses it as an energizing experience.  Fr. John met the pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption in Chichimilá, Fr. Luis Martin Tuz, for the first time on this particular occasion, and will continue to strengthen their sister parish bond with Holy Rosary through such encounters.

Former Mission of Friendship volunteer Patricia Pipkin spent a week in Yucatan with relatives who have been sponsoring family in the Amigos program for many years. It was the first time that Patricia’s brother Chris, his wife Melissa and their children Emily, Evan and Eric met their sponsored family.  It was a very special time for all.

 With the help of Mirza the Bethlehem Star and Angelica the angel of the Hogar Nueva Vida, we wish all our friends, families, benefactors, former volunteers, sponsors, our blog readers, and anyone else who has the Mission of Friendship close to their hearts, a
very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.  May the Star of Bethlehem guide you in all you do in 2012 and may the choir of angels be on hand to help you wherever and whenever you need it.

¡Feliz navidad y prospero año nuevo!

Mirza as the star and Angelica as the angel,
 participating in the traditional Mexican posada of the Hogar Nueva Vida, the Mission's girls' shelter.

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