Sunday, June 8, 2003

An interesting article about a Wisconsin priest with no intentions of retiring from his missionary work in Bolivia, even after 40 years.

The article contains this rather startling nugget:

Despite the poverty and the poor economy, Penchi said the people value education and are eager to see their children graduate from high school and go on to college.The parish school, which is for grades 1-12, has two sessions to accommodate the many students. The school's morning session has 902 students enrolled. The afternoon session has 1,044 students.

And from Kansas City, a Guatamalan Carmelite sister lives out the Gospel in her own country

She knew something was wrong more than 20 years ago, when she came upon a 23-year-old Mayan woman in tears because women of her race could not become nuns.Indigenous Mayan women did not have the same opportunities for education as the upper class of mixed European and indigenous blood people known as Ladino, Prado said.But she thought that this woman's calling was no less divine. It took several years, with requests that had to work their way all the way to the pope, but Prado started her own order of Carmelites that welcomed Mayan women."God insisted," she said. "God speaks with a stronger voice than people."People who have seen the work of the nuns in San Andres Itzapa return with accounts of women sheltering orphans and the elderly, providing comfort and refuge through years of war.