We are deeply grateful to God for the privilege of being here and living with such outstanding people in Mexico’s most violent city. We see the evidence of this on a daily basis. When the victims turn out to be friends, the scars are deeper and ever more poignant. Recently two police friends of mine were gunned down after Sunday Mass not far from our house. My two friends would usually greet me with “Buenos dias Padrecito…Como le va?” “Hi there Father…How is life?” on most Sunday mornings as I’d pass them on the corner near our house.
On the Sunday morning after Easter, Leo our full time parish manager called me. “Padre Kevin…come quickly…Two people have been executed near the house.” With my heart thumping heart in my chest, I grabbed the oils and headed out the gate. I hurried briskly to the scene managing to avoid police vehicles in the process, and passing running and screaming families. I briefly noticed two stalwart local men vomiting up against a wall. I thought to myself that did not bode well for what I was about to see. After uncovering the faces of the victims for the administration of the Last Rites, I discovered the bodies of my two police friends I was deeply saddened by their deaths.
Nevertheless, I am grateful to have been able to pray for them like so many others here in Ciudad Juarez, that they might be received into the Lord’s Kingdom of Peace and Light. In the nobility, bravery, chaos and mayhem of Ciudad Juarez, the Columban Fathers have seen daily witness of the Mexican peoples’ love of life and their commitment to each other.
Just as the Baptism of a newborn baby is a miraculous and moving experience, so too the funeral of a loved one takes over our emotions and challenges our faith. Since this drug related violence erupted, most of our funerals are as a result of this plague.
It wrecks a community in so many ways. Those who remain in this impoverished environment are forced to continue with their lives in order to survive provide food for their children. In other words, they grieve on the run!
The Eucharist in Rancho Anapra each Sunday gathers all together and offers a sacred opportunity to share the pain with faith and hope.
May God’s abundant blessings be upon you and your families.
Columban Frs. Kevin Mullins and Mickie Donnelly live and work in Anapra, Mexico.
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O God, who hallowed the standard of the life-giving Cross by the precious blood of Your only-begotten Son; grant, we beseech You, that they who rejoice in honoring the same holy Cross, may rejoice also in Your ever-present protection. Through …