When the Missionary Servants looked to open a mission in Costa Rica, we wanted the poorest and most abandoned place in the country….and we found it in on the Osa Peninsula.
In 1994, Fr. Frank Conkle, S.T., became the first Missionary Servant pastor of Parroquia Santo Domingo De Guzmán (St. Dominic of Guzman Parish) in the town of Puerto Jiménez on the Osa Peninsula. The peninsula contains one of the few existing coastal rain forests in the world.
Here the indigenous people make their living fishing, raising cattle, and growing beans, bananas and rice. Besides the main church in Puerto Jimenez, there are 26 chapels served by the mission. The parish encompasses nine square miles of rural communities, including the Indian reserve that is home to the Guaymí tribe. Today, Fathers Luis de la Cuadra, Henry Guerra and Jaime Serrano continue the Missionary Servants’ tradition of service to the people of St. Dominic’s parish.
With the parish boundaries so widespread, it is a challenge to bring the many different communities together in a central place for retreats, training of lay ministers, sacramental preparation and other gatherings. People from the most remote communities walk for two days to get to Puerto Jimenez!
One thing that has had a definitive impact on this community is the construction of the parish hall. Completed in 2009, this facility now provides the space needed to meet the many needs of the parish, including bathrooms and rooms that double as sleeping quarters for those who need them. Thanks to your support, we are making a real difference in the lives of thousands of women, men and children on the mission.