The Carmelites in El Salvador have been blessed with many vocations! Already two have been ordained to the priesthood and one is solemnly professed as a religious brother.
There are four simply professed residing at Centro Xiberta. Three will be completing their two-year internships at parishes in the United States and will return to El Salvador in January 2020. Nine young men are not in the pre-novitiate at Centro Xiberta. We also two other priests working in El Salvador and in the community at Centro Xiberta.
Such an abundance of very good vocations over a rather short period of time brings some difficulties— housing being the most serious. In 2017 the Carmelites purchased a piece of land that had been a coffee finca (farm).
Not cultivated for two years, the Carmelites set about clearing out the overgrowth by hand. With the assistance of a professional agronomist and additional plants bought with the generous donations of members of the Society of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the group expanded to include pineapples, squash, and cocoa in addition to new coffee bushes to increase productivity in the future.
Animals, including chickens, goats, and a cow have also been added for the benefit of the students and their neighbors.
A portion of the land has been set aside for a soccer field so that the students remain healthy and fit. Participation in sports also is a way of building teamwork and leadership skills.
The new home will contain:
- 1 chapel with seating for the community and 30 guests: $50,000
- 1 dining room: $25,000
- 1 community room: $25,000
- Full kitchen: $50,000
- 1 library: $35,000
- 15 sleeping/study rooms: $17,000/room
- 1 patio with fountain: $5,000
- 1 Garden on Perimeter: $20,000
- Guesthouse with 2 sleeping quarters (not pictured): $40,000
- 1 sports field: $20,000
The figures are arbitrary … but together would pay for the house and the landscaping around the house as well as the sports field.