On January 31, 2018, I departed from Maryland for my first official visit as General Custodian to our mission in Honduras. Joining me on this trip was Father Guy Wilson, S.T. Upon our arrival at the Toncontín International Airport, Father Guy and I were met by Fathers Alexis and Cesar who are currently missioned in Honduras.
As we made our way from the airport to what is called the “New Capital” — a slum on the hill outside of the city — I was immediately struck by the physical signs of the extreme poverty and poor living conditions of the people. It reminded me very much of what I saw during my recent trip to Haiti. Roads are made of dirt and difficult to travel. People live in homes made of wood and tin. Water is brought in by trucks every morning. Life in Honduras is hard.
The Monsignor Romero Cenacle — our newest mission home (cenacle) — is located in Comayagua, Honduras. The area where Fathers Alexis and Cesar serve is broken into five sectors. Each sector includes a chapel. As you can imagine, our missionaries spend a good bit of time traveling to and from each sector. However, it is obvious that our presence is making a difference. This mission is a shining example of the good that can come when solid pastoral care and social work are combined.
Much of Fathers Alexis’ and Cesar’s ministry is focused on youth outreach and gang-life prevention. One such program is “YouthBuild” which works to provide positive alternatives to gang-life and violence through job training and conflict resolution.
The people I met during my trip were kind and eager to hear that they are not forgotten. I assured them that they remain in the daily prayers of all Missionary Servants as well as our dear friends and benefactors. A highlight of my trip was being able to confirm 35 young people at the chapel near our cenacle, Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity. This was a first for me and I was granted this privilege by Cardinal Oscar Andres. He also asked me to share with our friends and supporters his gratitude for sending the Missionary Servants to minister to his people.
I always find myself leaving my visits much richer and fuller than when I arrived. Here I left rich in the faith of the people, rich in their desire to build community, rich in their struggles for peace and an end to violence, rich in hope and in their concern for the youth.
I look forward to future visits and I’m excited by the good works of my brothers. May God bless everyone who has supported and will continue to support our mission in Honduras as well as those in the United States and throughout Latin America.