I wish to share my Christmas Letter to my Blog readers. I have enjoyed sharing my experiences here in our Mission from the Diocese of Helena, Montana, through this space. Christmas is a very special feast for me since I was a small child, as it is for all people, so thank you for your interest.
Friends and family,
Here in Guatemala we are at the end of the rainy season, approaching summer. We are at the beginning of the Coffee Harvest. The small coffee trees burst forth with the red berries, which can be seen from the roadside, as one travels up the bumpy dirt roads to the mountain villages and even driving into town where our Mission is located. They are our CHRISTMAS TREES! There are no icy roads or flakes of snow in the air. All over the world, in tiny towns and big cities, CHRISTMAS is a day of PEACE and HOPE. In GUATEMALA, we pray and hope that CHRISTMAS will be a day with no violence or suffering and that there will be a lasting conversion of HEARTS! Many homes have suffered loss of members of their family from the VIOLENCE during 2009. ALL come together around their table and their church of worship in Prayer and to celebrate the BIRTHDAY OF JESUS.
Here at the Mission we are preparing for the Posadas, where the Nativity scene is carried through the streets with candle light, prayer and music, in search for an INN for the Christ Child. Fiesta celebrations for the elderly and for the personnel bring us together as family. The custom of gift giving is not a CHRISTMAS tradition here but rather there is a sharinng of tamales, bread and "caliente", a HOT pineapple drink. Visiting neighbors and family fill the CHRISTMAS morning hours. As a Parish family we celebrate the vigil MASS on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day our Mission Team enjoy Turkey and all the trimmings at HOME.
FROM ALL AT THE CLINICA MAXEÑA; our Parish Mission Clinic, we wish you a BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND JOYFUL NEW YEAR! We are grateful for your PRAYERS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THOSE WE SERVE!
Send your Christmas Gift for our Clinic to:
Diocese of Helena
PO BOX 1729
Helena, MT 59624
You can also direct deposit for the work of our Mission at the web site:
THANK YOU! and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!