Hello again from San Felix/Ciudad Guyana where it is about 95 degrees and sunny pretty much all year! I keep thinking to myself that I am living in a perpetual MN July!  It is so different with no fall season here.

At the end of October, the parishes all met with the Bishop (Mariano) for a day of reflection on how to continue the mission of the Church here and then the priests all met together with the Bishop the next day to reflect on the words of Pope Francis to the Bishops at World Youth Day. The challenges are great. Fr. Greg says overall the shootings and deaths of the younger people have gone down in recent years. However, a week does not go by without a report of a local shooting (or more) either right in our barrio or a neighboring barrio. This does put fear into the people and makes the rebuilding of trust quite the battle.

We wrestle with how to help those involved in prostitution and drugs that come to us. The people are not very happy with their country as a whole and only by God’s grace can we offer them the hope that a light shines in the darkness, this light has a face and invites them personally to mass and life in the Church.

Some real blessings have been the seminarians who have responded to the Lord’s call and continue to be formed to, God-willing, serve the many people here in the future. The children in the barrios, for me, continue to be a bright light as they respond to an authentic smile and the presence of the Lord. The gift of music goes a long way with a blind guitarist animating lots of the gatherings. It is amazing to see the people thank God for their lives and breath and daily moments. The older folks are such a stronghold here as they persevere in their faith and encourage the young to put God first. Jesus in the Eucharist remains my greatest hope and peace as temptations knock at the door and it all seems overwhelming.

Many blessings to you all, Padres James and Greg and all the parish.