We were blessed to be invited to the Chimbote, Peru dinner this year by a dear woman at our parish. It was funny because she only asked that a family come and we were the "the first people who popped into" the head of the person tasked to find said family. What a wonderful gift!
We spent some of our school day on Thursday finding out about the Pittsburgh Mission in Chimbote. Three amazing priests from the Diocese of Pittsburgh traveled as missionaries in the mid-60's to begin the bridge between Pittsburgh and Peru! Since then, the face of God has shown on the local people through home visits and a healthcare center. We were amazed to hear the stories of the two nuns from Grand Rapids who have spent a combined 105 years (!) caring for the Chimbote people.
The local Catholic schools fund raise for the mission and some of them had displays before the dinner that showed what they've done to raise money. Very informative and creative. Very moving to see so many people reaching out to help the poorest of the poor. Faith in action!
|They clean up nice, non?|
|I'm pleased to say no one had a major spill|
|and they all stayed awake! Success!|
If you missed it, Friday, October 13th, was the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal. The final apparition of Our Lady to the three children after six monthly visits. You already know the 13th (and especially Friday the 13th) is a big day around here (3 birthdays, two of them on Friday) but, wow, can you imagine a better thing than celebrating the century anniversary of Our Lady's visit?
We watched along with the children's holy hour in Washington, D.C. before heading out to Mass at noon. It was a wonderful break in the day, one of our friends was lector, and Father pointed out that the readings really didn't need to be changed to accommodate the celebration.
The first reading from Joel:
Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!
wail, O ministers of the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
O ministers of my God!
The house of your God is deprived
of offering and libation.
Proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the elders,
all who dwell in the land,
Into the house of the LORD, your God,
and cry to the LORD!
The responsorial psalm: "The Lord will judge the world with justice"
The general Message of Fatima is not complicated. Its requests are for prayer, reparation, repentance, and sacrifice, and the abandonment of sin. Before Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children, Lucy, Francisco and Jacinta, the Angel of Peace visited them. The Angel prepared the children to receive the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his instructions are an important aspect of the Message that is often overlooked.Are you sensing the "get your butts in gear" message might be the perfect, if coarse, for this exact occasion...from Joel to the Angel to Our Lady...the time has come for us to pray and be reverent, repent and sacrifice. We can wait no longer.
The Angel demonstrated to the children the fervent, attentive, and composed manner in which we should all pray, and the reverence we should show toward God in prayer. He also explained to them the great importance of praying and making sacrifices in reparation for the offenses committed against God. He told them: “Make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication, for the conversion of sinners.”
We went home and prayed another rosary. This one was a side benefit of the "cancel everything" day we were having.
|When they were not hiding ;0)|
|The sunset was magnificent!|
|Our seminarian was MC! And #2 got to carry Skiff !|
|The two ladies on the right?? The nuns who have worked for 50+ years at the Chimbote misson!|
|The estimate was 700 people! It was amazing!!!|
At the end of the night, they had the little ones release 100 balloons up to the sky. What a beautiful sight...like our prayers rising to Heaven.
We're tired now but the weekend gave us a wonderful reminder of what is important. Will we cancel all tests and far-away classes? No, we won't. If such occasions again come before us, however, we will not hesitate to make them top priority. We don't succeed every hour of every day but I do believe we are moving toward our goal of always having God at the center of our lives. It's difficult. There are sports and activities and lots and lots of opportunities. Family meals and time together, family prayer, learning about our faith, and just being sorry for our failings and always remembering...we are blessed.