Sunday, June 12, 2011


Pentecost, June 12, 2011
Today an announcement.

Once again this July 12 to 20th our faith community in Port Huron makes the connection with Tila, Chiapas, Mexico.  Since 1998 this will be the seventh trip up to this mountain Cloudforest area of indigenous Chol people and their parish church San Mateo which stretches from its center in the town of 7000,Tila, out into numerous remote villages, many reachable only by footpath.

An effort is being made this time to establish a week-long Spanish course to give focus to our outside visitors as they learn of these people’s way of life.   They are bi-lingual speaking from Chol to Spanish, and we can interface with better Spanish from English.   A teacher and coach from the Port Huron area, George Moger will help start this project.  We hope that others will follow, including seminary students from the Detroit diocese who would become involved in the pastoral ministry of the San Mateo team, learning from their faith, distant culturally and financially from ours, yet deeply interconnected.  I will spend time in the parish clinic, Dispensario Chol, and we hope to hold medical clinics in villages also, as before.
San Mateo parish team & vistors from Port Huron, June 2010, Padre Heriberto Cruz Vera at center.

Padre Heriberto Cruz Vera, pastor of San Mateo parish, has been celebrant for these faith communities for 20 years now.  They have encountered many problems of poverty, land grabs, injustice and violence.  But they have established medical clinics, coffee cooperatives, and built neighborhood chapels.  Paths of reconciliation and justice continue to emerge from their struggles.  The traditions and beliefs that sustain them, come from their Catholic faith, cultural roots deep from their Mayan ancestry, the miraculous crucifix of Nuestro Senor de Tila in its sanctuary of yearly pilgrimages, and their village life, moving with the seasons of the year, guided by well-prepared catechists.
Rogelio of Jolja with his village and small chapel/community center in valley below [he's also seen in above photo on far left]

May the Lord bless us from Port Huron to Tila with a good trip, and an increase in understanding of God’s plan for both rich and poor.   Please keep us all in your prayers, and consider any contribution you might make, and perhaps making such a journey in the future.  Si Dios quiere—Lord willing.

Pentecost by El Greco

1 comment:

  1. dad... nice to hear about the ongoing PH efforts to connect with Chiapas... hopeful that all goes very well on this upcoming one~