Posted on August 18, 2017
2017 Peru Mission - Update 5
As you all know, we missionaries returned safely to JFK this past Sunday evening. We are thankful for the safe trip the Lord granted us.
Now adjusting back to normal life as it were, we reflect fondly and with much gratitude for this blessed time we spent together. Despite the rigorous schedule (of 12+ hours most of the days), challenging manual labor, and sometimes unpredictable schedule, we somehow managed to sleep each night with a healthy exhaustion of earning a good day's work.
We realize what a luxury it is to have a warm place to sleep, a roof above our heads, food in our stomachs, and bathrooms with actual running water and a sewage system (more than just a hole in the ground on top of a hill). What a blessing it was to be able to receive what was due when so many of the people of Laderas put in the same 12+ hour days, often more, manual labor and yet with so much uncertainty of their pay, shelter, and the next meal.
Our last day in Peru (Saturday) was spent walking around the city of Lima. We had the privilege of celebrating a private Mass at the Church of Saint Rose of Lima, the very place where she grew up. Across the street was a small, white building where St. Martin de Porres was born. What a gift it was to physically walk in the footsteps of these great saints-- who loved the poor and served the sick.
Sitting in the large St. Rose of Lima Church, we could hear the muffled noise of horns blaring and traffic driving by-- the sounds of the world trying to pull our focus away for Christ as is often the Christian struggle. And in a cosmopolitan city like Lima where the face of poverty looks quite different, how easy it was to forget our brothers and sisters in Laderas whom we had left just 24 hours earlier.
Visiting the convents of St. Francis and St. Dominic, we saw paintings of Dominicans and Franciscans together as well as books that were hundreds of years old. They were some of the first books brought over of the Faith. Much time and effort was spent by the early Dominican and Franciscan missionaries of Peru translating the Faith into Quechua, one of the aboriginal languages and the most predominant native language in Peru today. We marveled at the fact that these carriers of the Faith traveled all the way to this land, to seek the stranger, to bring the good news of the Gospel of Christ to all the corners of the earth.
We ended the day with Mass at the retreat house and a farewell Peruvian dinner by the ocean. Some of the missionaries even dipped their feet into the Pacific.
Now back in our homes-- NYC, Ontario, Miami, Buffalo, we know God continues to call us forth in this missionary spirit. Whether we are going off to law school like Liz or returning to serving in the United States Marine Corps like Captain George Russo, we continue to carry the intentions of all our supporters as well as the needs of our brothers in sisters in Laderas with us. We pray that the seeds planted and flames lit will bear much fruit and continue to illuminate this world with the light of Christ.
We thank you friends, family, and supporters for enriching this trip and making it possible.
We thank our five amazing priests - Fr. Dominic Bump, OP, Fr. Innocent Smith, OP, Fr. Rosado Adaly, Fr. John Anthony, CFR and Fr. Agustino, CFR - for your guidance, covering, patience(!), and making Christ manifest even moreso through the sacraments-- the outward signs in simple things like bread and wine, which are instituted by Christ to give grace.
With today as the Feast of the Assumption, we are reminded that we are a pilgrim people. And like in the procession following Mass, we move forward in this life with a joyful pace among our fellow pilgrims knowing that we come from God and we are moving towards God with the care of our Blessed Mother, the intercession of the saints, and the prayers of our patron Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.
"I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus" -Philippians 3:14
Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever.
2017 Peru Missionaries
Frassati Fellowship of NYC
PS Attached you will find several amazing photos by our resident Frassati photographer extraordinaire, Jon Marquez. More of his work can be found on Facebook.
PPS If anyone is a coffee fan, we highly recommend Coffee of the Cross(!), led by our very own Fr. John Anthony to support the maintenance and develop of the Mountain of Peace in South America.