Jesus said: “Imagine a sower going out to sow…”
Next Sunday’s gospel (for July 13) refers to Jesus’ parable about the sower. That’s what the people here in the mountains are doing right now. I only hope that the psalm refrain for that same liturgy comes true: Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop.
week I was on the road a lot. One trip took me to Arroyo Prieto. Four Mexican Sisters
of St. Vincent de Paul live there and accompany the people in this poorest
region of La Montaña. I still remember when they arrived in the Diocese of
Tlapa about fifteen years ago. They requested that the bishop allow them to go (in
their words) “to the poorest area of the mountains where there is the least
presence of Church.” They definitely found that area!
The sower went out to sow...
|Don Felipe heading out to sow (near el Cerro de la Garza)|
|Early-morning departure for Arroyo Prieto|
I remember too the first time that Father Fred Monk, founding director of Mission Mexico, visited these Sisters. The Sisters insisted that Father Fred sleep in one of the small bedrooms of the second floor of their house. After Father Fred accepted, I went to a neighboring house and left him alone with four nuns who spoke not a word of English—and Father Fred didn't speak Spanish.
the Sisters led Father Fred to see his bedroom for the night, he realized that
it was the bedroom of one of the Sisters, and that one Sister was going to be
sleeping on a petate (straw mat) on the
kitchen floor downstairs. He tried to make it known through signs that he
didn’t want to take the Sister’s room, that he could sleep on the dirt floor.
But the Sisters would have none of that. A decent bed was the least they could
offer to this visiting priest.
|The Sisters' two-storey house (in red box) in Arroyo Prieto|
|Part of the road (a smooth part) to Arroyo Prieto|
|Sharing a couple of blankets on road to Arroyo Prieto|
|Part of the road to Arroyo Prieto|
|Where I slept on Monday night (near Yosondacua) on my way back from Arroyo Prieto.|
I shared the mat on the floor of this one-room home/store with Ramiro and his son Salvador (in photo).
|The mist is moving in during the late afternoon on road back from Arroyo Prieto|
I had gone to Arroyo Prieto a couple of weeks ago, and the Sisters mentioned that their small fridge had “burned out.” When I mentioned that to Father Fred, he said, “Surprise them with a new one.” So I bought a refrigerator in Tlapa and drove eight hours to deliver it to them. The trip is usually only about five hours, but I went slower and tried to not allow the fridge to bounce around too much on the very bumpy road. I made it, and the Sisters were super-happy with their surprise gift.
name of the Sisters, I thank the supporters of Mission Mexico for this gift.
The Sisters don’t have a vehicle of their own, and a refrigerator allows them
to take advantage of their rare visit to Tlapa to buy food for several weeks.
Anything Mission Mexico can do to make their life easier makes a difference in
how they, in turn, can work to make life “easier” for the impoverished people
in their part of La Montaña. The sower went out to sow...
|The refrigerator and a bundle of blankets for the Sisters in Arroyo Prieto|
PS: Father Fred, the Sisters now have three “novelties” in their house: an indoor bathroom, a cement floor, and a first-floor bedroom. So please come to visit soon. That would be a wonderful blessing for the Sisters and thousands of others here in the mountains.
|Two of the four Sisters who live in Arroyo Prieto, with their new refrigerator: |
(Sor Silvia and Sor Juana)