It was a little too difficult to post the blogs from our Sister Parish trip while in Cuana, which is something short of the technology capital of the world.  But I did blog and will present them to you in a kind of tape delay one week after the events of our Pilgrimage.

Brother and Sister Parish

In about forty five minutes, ten tired but excited pilgrims will leave our homes to embark on a pilgrimage to visit Bl. Kateri’s Sister parish in Cuana, Mexico.  Please pray for our hearty band of Stacey DeBritz, Joe DeBritz, Olivia Golden, Maggie Golden, Joan Thompson, Kelsey Goldstoff, Bill Rowe, Eileen Rowe, Fr. Giorgio Ferrera and myself.  Or as I like to call us – a mother and a son, a father and a daughter, a mother and a daughter, a mother and a daughter and two Fathers.

We will be heading to our sister parish San Augustin.  Our relationship began nearly nine years ago when a brave volunteer and member of our community spent a year in Cuana and its surrounding neighborhoods.  Mary Moon (now Manzo) fell in love with the people of the village whom she assisted and then, as it often does with Mary, that love spread.  And two caring parishes, Our Lady of Fatima and St. Helen’s in Schenectady and Niskayuna, hungering themselves to expand the reach of their cares and prayers adopted San Agustin as a sister parish.

We have done marvelous work together thanks in large part to the PIME missionaries who staff the parish such as Father Massimo and our host for this visit, Father Graziano.  Most importantly, we have been welcomed by the hearts of the people of San Agustin.  We have over the past decade established a medical mission in the extreme far reaches of the wide expanse of the parish.  We have had a dental mission that treats hundreds of people go each year led by our parishioners Dr. Don DeLuke and Dr. Barry Laffredo.  But this is just a pilgrimage for us to see the faces of those for whom we have been praying and to thank them for praying for us.  You cannot really meet those you have been praying for because they have already occupied an intimate place. The Holy Spirit has already introduced us.  This will be a time for us to carry the prayers, the dreams and the love of a whole community to those who have never been strangers, but have been in our hearts.  They truly are our brothers and sisters.