Please be patient while my photos download! They seem to load up extremely slowly. Sorry!
I was blessed with an extreme honor today (August 15, 2017)! I was able to attend the mass celebrating the 100th birthday of Monseñor Oscar Romero. And to make it even better, I was accompanying the entire Pastoral Team: Cecilia, Blanca, Idalia, Jesús, Balmore, Margarita and Alejandro, and a couple of other friends: Elmer (Cecilia’s son) and Giovany, a former scholarship student and a young man very active in the church.
It is almost a 2-hour drive from Berlín to Ciudad Barrios where the mass was held. This is the town where Romero was born. 7 of us sat in the back of the KIA. The ladies had a thin mattress to sit on, the men had benches covered with a blanket to try to cushion their journey a bit.
The Mass didn’t start till about 1:20 p.m. We got to town about 11. We walked around a bit. There were already thousands of people there. One organization was handing out balloons and water bottles. Others were selling posters and shirts. We went down to the little town market and got some lunch. Then we walked back up to the park in front of the church to claim a spot for the mass. We ended up on a sidewalk across the street on the side. Some stood, some sat on the tall curb. After about a half an hour, a man walked by and asked if we wanted chairs! A few moments later, out he comes with chairs for all! This was much better. The hard part of all this was the lack of shade. We had a couple of umbrellas to share and towels to shield us a little, but it was hot! I’m surprised I didn’t get fried! A little pink, a few more freckles, but nothing else. A guardian angel was with me!
We ran into some friends from Berlín. We waited patiently and people watched. I took pictures. We were in an awesome location. The procession of priests (and there were perhaps 40 of them them) walked right in front of us prior to the mass. Serving the mass were Bishop William Ernesto Iraheta Rivera and Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez. What an honor to have these men serve.
The mass lasted about 3 hours. Communion was served by all the priests who posted themselves out among the people. We had the honor of being served by our own Father Cándido from Berlín.
On the way out of town, we stopped a moment at the waterfall on the side of the road. The cool water was clear and refreshing to splash on our faces. We were all exhausted by the time we got back to the Pastoral House. But every tired bone was content. What an honor.
Other news: Ciudad Barrios officially changed their patron saint to Monseñor Romero which will be celebrated August 15 each year. This has been approved and it was announced after the mass!