It is now 106 degrees Fahrenheit outside here under the blazing Sun of Ciudad Juarez as we prepare for this afternoons’ Mass for Peace which we celebrate in a large traffic roundabout at the entrance to our Colonia or suburb. Given the number of people who have and are being executed in Juarez we as a Parish have long ago decided to pray in a public manner for an end to the violence in our city and indeed throughout the whole country. Last week 3 young men were executed in our Parish so the need for prayer is ever more apparent.
Unfortunately, the Pastoral Visit from our Bishop was postponed due to an operation which he had to undergo in order to correct some problems wih his eyes. Already the visit has been rescheduled for late September.
Fr Augustine, our South Korean volunteer Priest has returned from further language studies in Cuernavaca and is bringing his sense of humor and dedication to the pastoral events of the Parish.
Fr Michael Donelly will be taking over as interim Parish Priest during my absence in Australia and in Chile. I am looking forward to seeing my family and my friends and colleagues in Australia. However, the vacations will pass at a rapid clip and I am already planning for the joys and the challenges of life in Ciudad Juarez during the next couple of years.
Given the kind assistance shown by one of our Donors we are able to send 14 young people to a large Youth Congress run by the Charismatic Renewal in the city of Guadalajara during the latter half of the month of July. Most of these young people have never been able to travel given the economic restrictions and are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to share with the rest of the cast of 20,000 youth. It should be an uplifting experience for them and we are grateful for the very practical and generous help received from our kind Donors.
We are also attempting to bring all the complex subtleties of purchasing land in Mexico in order to commence the construction of our Youth Community Center and the the Basketball court, which will ensure that the local youth have some healthy alternative to becoming involved in the seductive and highly lethal work of drug running and people trafficking.
I along with my Columban colleagues and the rest of the Clergy of Juarez have all seen the results of the violence which has led to the deaths of 8000 people here during the last 3 and a half years in this city of 2 million people. We pray for everyone that peace may prevail, but are practical enough to realize that it will probably not be imminent.
May the God of love and life bless you and your families.
Fr Kevin Mullins.