El Salvador update
Eucharistic celebration held at home of Sisters of Providence in La Papalota
On April 18, at the Sisters of Providence house in La Papalota, Bishop Orlando Cabrera presided at a
Eucharistic liturgy of thanksgiving for the Providence mission in El Salvador and for the return of the sisters to their house in La Papalota.
With the words of the prayer, “Providence of God, we thank you for all,” and in the name of the Sisters of Providence in El Salvador, Sister Marcia Gatica welcomed Bishop Cabrera and Fathers Nilton, Benjamin and Earlin from our parish church, Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Tierra Blanca, and Father Angel, OP, from the Nueva Esperanza community. The priests all concelebrated the liturgy with Bishop Cabrera.
As Bishop Cabrera, the priests and the more than 250 people from fifteen different communities gathered together under the large canopy in the front yard of our house, there were many expressions of recognition and joyful reunion. Led by the musicians –Jose, Jonathan, Fernando, Noe, Carlina and Sister Marcia — the people entered into the singing of the familiar liturgical songs of the Christian communities in El Salvador. These are special hymns that give expression to our life as communities of hope and our solidarity with one another in the Risen Jesus.
In his homily, Bishop Cabrera expressed his joy and gratitude to be with the sisters and the people once again in La Papalota. He asked the people to support the Sisters of Providence and to recognize that they are members of a religious congregation with a mission to serve God’s people.
A number of the persons who are collaborating with us in the mission were also present, including our collaborators in the Providence Scholarship Program: Ana Delmi Serrano Ayala and Transito Ruano de Castro, coordinators, and Anibal Castro and Tulio Mancia, consultants.
Also present were our professional consultants for the Association of the Sisters of Providence in El Salvador: Maria Catalina Avelar Pleitez, accountant, and Cristina Gomez, attorney, as well as translator Cristy Ayala.
As is customary in El Salvador, the Eucharistic celebration was followed by refreshments for everyone. For three days prior to the celebration, Sister Marita Capili, wanting to serve a juice made from natural Salvadoran ingredients, had made 250 servings of jamaica juice (a long process!) which she sweetened with syrup she made (also a long process!) from harvested sugar cane. The jamaica juice was served with individual sweet breads that had been baked that morning in Tierra Blanca. Some of the scholarship students helped Sister Marita to serve the juice and sweet breads to the people at the conclusion of the liturgy.
When we asked Bishop Cabrera to celebrate this liturgy, he told Sister Marcia that he would like to have some Chilean empanadas on that day. The empanadas arrived from San Salvador with Sister Marcia on the day of the celebration. Following the liturgy, Sister Marcia invited Bishop Cabrera and the guest priests into the house, where they enjoyed the Chilean empanadas served with a bottle of Chilean red wine.
The Salvadoran people and our mission among them are in the hands of a loving and compassionate Providence… Providence of God, we thank you for all.
Sisters of Providence
Torogoz Community, El Salvador