Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Arrival In Peru


On February 13th at midnight, I arrived at the Lima airport, tired but grateful for a safe journey.  I was also very excited to begin my new mission and adventure in Peru. 

I was met at the airport by Eduardo, a friend of Fr. Cesar, the Vicar General.  After claiming all my luggage and clearing Customs, Eduardo drove me through the empty streets of Lima (it was about 1:30 a.m.) and shared details about the various neighborhoods we were passing as well as several landmarks.   This was a good start to my mission.  We were met by Sr. Maria Christina, a Sister of Divine Providence, who hosted me and Veronica (an Argentinian Lay Missionary who arrived earlier that evening).  The accommodations were comfortable.  The sisters provided delicious and nutritious meals for us during our stay.  They were very accommodating to our needs as well.  We could not have had better hosts to make us feel so welcome and comfortable during our one week stay in Lima.

During this week, we traveled 10 hours overnight by bus to the northern city of Trujillo where we both needed to present legal documents at Interpol to obtain documents we would need to present to immigration when we arrived in Iquitos. While in Trujillo, we were hosted by a missionary couple, friends of Bishop Jose, our bishop of the Vicariate of San Jose de las Amazonas.  We remained there for two days and since we finished all of our business with Interpol, we were treated to a tour of several sites in Trujillo like the Cathedral, Main Plaza, walking, shopping and restaurant district.  We were treated to lunch and although I am fluent in Spanish, reading the menu made me realize I was truly in a foreign country as some of the foods had names I did not recognize and needed our host to describe what each item meant.  Example:  Aguacates (avocados) are called "palta" here in Peru.  

That evening we boarded the bus back to Lima.  I needed to get a translation from a certified translator, so I rode a taxi for about 45 minutes.  Although traffic was thick, I enjoyed having the opportunity to see more of the city.  We then flew on to Iquitos on martes, February 20th.  We were greeted at the airport by Anna Borkowska, the Economist/Office Manager of the Vicariate, whom I will be working with during my mission.  The cocophony of noises from traffic, especially the many "motokars" (motorcycles retrofitted with a two to three person seat in the back and a canopy to ward off the sunshine)  was overwhelming.  

We arrived at the Vicariate complex, where I am now living, to find a nice, large bedroom with a private bathroom, all clean and prepared for my stay.  I was also introduced to my future co-workers and two permanent Canadian lay missionaries who are in charge of maintaining the complex and welcoming missionaries of the vicariate when they come for some much needed rest and/or to pick up supplies for their mission outposts.  Other priests, sisters, lay missionaries from other vicariates and diocese are also hosted during their visit to Iquitos.  I was pleasantly surprised to know that meals are cooked for us daily.  

The most wonderful surprise for me was that Mass is celebrated in our chapel each morning by visiting priests. What more could I ask for? God has been good to me first by calling me to this mission, then by providing a comfortable place to live, good food to eat, great company, and above all, daily Eucharist and the blessed sacrament in our chapel!  My new mission and adventure is off to a good and blessed start!  

Monday, February 12, 2024

Here I Go Again

Here I go again!  I will soon depart from my hometown, El Paso, TX, to the Vicariate of San Jose de las Amazonas in Iquitos, Peru.  I will be on mission for three years as I lend administrative support in the offices of the vicariate.  I look forward to serving my brothers and sisters in Christ as I share my love of God, my Catholic faith, and the Gospel.  I also look forward to sharing my gift of being bilingual (Spanish/English) as I work alongside others to advance the vicariate’s mission to better the lives of the people it serves. Please keep me in your prayers as I answer God’s call to mission once again!  Be assured that you will be in my prayers as well.  

Arrival In Peru

  On February 13th at midnight, I arrived at the Lima airport, tired but grateful for a safe journey.  I was also very excited to begin my n...