Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December in the Missions Daily Diary - DAY THREE

DAY THREE - Wednesday December 10, 2015

Today is Election Day. Lots of energy about the election. Long lines reported at voting stations.  When you vote, you dip your finger into ink to prove you have voted (and to prevent you from trying to vote more than once).

(By the way, people here are also very aware of our upcoming election for President in the U.S. Several of the people I have talked to cannot believe what they are seeing and hearing.)
One of the women I ran into here last night was upset that she had been mysteriously taken off the ballot the day before the election. She was sure is was part of the party-in-power corruption. It will be interesting to see how things turn out and whether I can even understand the results.

I am staying at the Pastoral Center.

The first staff person to arrive for duty here at the RC Pastoral Center/Chancery/Bishop's House/Retreat Center is its capable Director. She, too, is a volunteer, having retired from her family owned department store business.

 Caszie de Freitas (born an raised here from Portuguese and English parents - thus the Portuguese name.)

The second staff person to show up was Collita Seyer, the wonderful cook, who is having a little breakfast before work. 

The third staff person to show up this morning is Daphne Paynter, the bishop's secretary. This photo was taken at her home when I was here in April. 

The fourth staff person to report for work is the friendly housekeeper, Pam Sam. 

The fifth and sixth staff persons to report for duty are (right to left) Maraika Young (Biblical Coordinator) and Catherine Lewis (Integral Human Development). They are in charge of formation programs for the diocese.

Today, the bishop asked me to spend some time with a young man who is discerning a possible call to the priesthood. Meet Kyle James. Kyle graduated recently from our version of high school with the highest honors in the country. Science is his real passion. He would make a wonderful priest/teacher in the Catholic school system. Pray for him.


Tonight the six men discerning whether they will begin the permanent deacon program will arrive to begin our retreat in the morning. Two will be coming from Union Island, one of the other islands in this country which is made up of a string of 32 islands. 

I couldn't let the day go by without this shot of the two Popes during the ceremonies opening the Year of Mercy. Isn't this what it's all about - two different perspectives embracing one another?

My presence down here is really my attempt to do something daring during this special year - embracing another part of our Catholic (universal) Church.

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