This Holy Week of 2018 has been my first experience outside of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish which is in Calle Real, close to Centro Xiberta, the Carmelite formation house in El Salvador.
On Saturday, March 24, we arrived in Lempa and began our ministry with the Mass that the Salvadoran people render to Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero. Blessed Romero was so loved by his people as the defender of the poor when he was archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Salvador. The Mass was celebrated in the parish of San Francisco de Asíssi, in Lempa.
On the way back to San Luis del Carmen, Chalatenango, El Salvador, where Fray Stanley Melara would be carrying out a mission this year, the parishioners of this parish were so happy, they sang lively songs of our faith in the bus that transported us. When we got to the headquarters of the municipality of San Luis, we were greeted with great joy by the coordinators of each canton. They guided us to our destinations.
I was sent to a canton called Los Naranjos. It is a pretty village, one full of faith, with many young people who want to work to build a better place to live. We also met people who showed us that listening would be so important in this ministry. Good listening would help us to know some of their problems, illnesses, joys, and sorrows. It would also help us to understand their faith. We could know about this from their own lifestyle as well.
Our ministry would take us to know each home, to know the lives of these people. Every week they await the arrival of women who join the community and bring them together to celebrate their faith. Every day of Holy Week we met together with children, youth, and adults. Togther we discussed the importance of the celebration of Easter in our own lives.
The Triduum was celebrated by the community with love in every detail. Great care was taken to celebrate each activity with great care. When celebrating God, it must be the best!
We celebrated with the community the Lord’s Resurrection on Holy Saturday night. It was a great pleasure to listen to the choir, with their joyful praises. Christ has risen, alleluia, alleluia! The experience as well as the fatigue were rewards of knowing that you have been a worker in the vineyard of the Lord. May our ministry bear fruit among the people because we had the opportunity to be with the people in this great moment of our faith.
Wilmer Ulises Ascencio Piche.
Centro Xiberta, El Salvador.