Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Encuentro Catolica Mission to Uruguay

Each year, the Saint Anthony of Padua group of young parishioners, Encuentro Católica (in English Catholic Encounter), sponsors a celebration of our faith held at the D.C. Armory.  Each year thousands of Hispanic-American Catholics from all over the East Coast and beyond attend this two-day event.

Funds that are raised during this event from ticket and food sales then are used to fund a mission and aid trip by members of the group to a poor area of a randomly selected country in Latin America.  The faith, hope, and charity of those our young travelers meet in these villages always provides much more than they ever give.

This past year, Uruguay was selected as the country and our own former Youth Minister and now Capuchin seminarian, Manuel Avilés, was one of the travelers along with Norma Chavarria, Carla Medina, and Marta Rivera.  

The narrative below is from his email and pictures sent to his brother Capuchins describing the trip.

Dear Brothers,

I want to thank you for your prayers and support during my mission to Uruguay. Attached are some pictures that transmit a bit of the grace-filled experiences I lived during the trip.

The mission was in the Dioceses of Melo located in the northeast part of the country next to Brazil. Melo is one of the poorest dioceses in the country, but fortunate to have hosted Pope John Paul II in 1988, which inspired the Academy Award movie The Pope's Toilet.

During the mission, I had the privilege of working with three other missionaries from St. Anthony of Padua...Since our arrival and until our departure we were welcomed and accompanied by Bishop Heriberto Bodeant, Bishop of Melo, and by a religious community of woman (MJVV) from Peru. The mission consisted in bringing food, clothing and the word of God to four villages and three towns where the religious community serves. Within these towns and villages, we visited an orphanage and a house of rehabilitation for drug addicts.

The Bishop has also posted pictures and a day-by-day report of the mission in his blog:


Manuel Avilés, OFM Cap

Monday, January 11, 2010

Farewell Breakfast for Fr. Jorge Acho

The Ministerio de Bienvenida and Sr. Agustina hosted a farewell breakfast for Fr. Jorge Sunday, January 10th.  Fr. Grinnell and members of some of the groups that serve at the Masses on Sunday also enjoyed a delicious meal of American and Hispanic treats.

Parish Town Hall 2010 Selects Hopes for the Parish

Completing a process that started several months ago with each parishioner at Mass being asked to write down their personal hopes for the parish over the next several years, all parishioners were invited to attend a Parish Town Hall meeting last Saturday, January 9th. 

The goal was to review the top 10 hopes as voted by the parish community at Mass and select the top 3. 

As part of the event, we were provided wonderful breakfast treats and coffee...

and had some wonderful musical entertainment by the Jesus My Friend Choir and the Ghana Community Choir...

Then we got down to business under the direction of Fr. Grinnell and Scott Engdahl, Chairman of the Pastoral Council, which is responsible for this process and for tracking our success in implementing our hopes over the next several years.

After prayer and discussion of each of the 10 hopes voted by the Parish community, each attendee was given 3 dots to place on their own top 3 hopes.

A tally of these votes revealed that the top 3 (each by a substantial vote) were:

1. Have everyone work for the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

2. Support youth access to, and pursuit of, higher education.

3. Develop unity among cultures and groups (i.e., united in ministry, prayer, and evangelization).

If you would like to work in support of any of these hopes, please call the Carol Poplin at 703-820-7111 ext. 121 or email her at office@stanthonyparish.org.