I had such joy in preparing this young man for his First Communion and Confirmation. He had a great desire to receive the Eucharist. Once he told me he did not like going to Mass because it was hard for him to be there and not receive Jesus. His great day came on Pentecost Sunday!! Some relatives and friends from the area were there to share the joy.
A neighboring pastor was so gracious and helpful. He knew the young man from having seen him at Mass. Though Father speaks no Spanish, he made sure the welcome was felt. His eagerness to get the permission to Confirm was evident.
Knowing some of the geography and cultural background helps me to understand many things. The region this young man grew up in is mountainous, and in his village, they speak a local dialect. Some time ago I helped another young woman who told me she did not want to speak Spanish when she got here because she did not speak it well. When conversing with one priest from that area, I asked him how many parishes he had; he told me he had some 12 towns and 20 small villages. He added that some of those villages do not even have roads to access them; he uses a horse or mule to get there. Getting to know these people gives me joy to be able to fulfill their desire to be touched with the grace of the sacraments and the love of God.
By Sister Regina Albers
Assembly Directive: Stand with the marginalized.