(para leer en español, dele clíc aquí)
At the end of July, we received a visit from Father Tom Royer from Champaign, Illinois and our new friend Van, a nurse from Seattle. Fr. Tom has ministered to the communities of Calavera, Morazán since the early nineties and has been the protagonist of some of the longest-standing sister relationships that we have had the gift of accompanying. It had been a couple years since Fr. Tom has visited, and we were all excited to see him again. In the meeting to prepare his visit, representatives from the communities he visits – Jimilile, El Rucio, El Salamo, Guachipilin, and San Miguelito – all came together to think and plan among themselves how to get him between the five communities, logistics about food and lodging, and what they want to share with their longtime friend.
When Fr. Tom arrived, representatives from the communities surprised him at El Despertar in San Antonio Abad for a welcome and dinner.
After dinner on Saturday night, the communities were able to be present at Mass in the crypt on Sunday morning as Fr. Tom celebrated. Each community presented an offering: sandals, fruit, a poster of Romero, flowers, and a tortilla. Agustín read the translated homily in Spanish.
After Mass, Fr. Tom, Van, Christine, José and Edgardo headed out to Morazán to visit each of the five communities over a span of five days. The communities prepared activities in the schools and in the chapels, Fr. Tom celebrated mass, blessed the new chapel in El Rucio, and performed four baptisms, and everyone ate a lot of sopa de gallina (hen soup).
The group in Morazán was also accompanied by Dr. Lil Guadalupe Saenz Portillo, a graduate of the scholarship program in the Monseñor Romero community, who gave a few check-ups in the community and distributed some common medicines.
Many thanks to Father Tom and to Van for their visit. It is such a gift to continue to walk with you in the communities and accompany these relationships that span so many years and miles. We look forward to seeing you again soon.