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Showing posts from January, 2014

Feast of the Baptism of Jesus--A Reflection

While the commercial world took down the lights and started getting ready for Valentine's Day on December 26, the Church continues to explore the depths of the wonderful mystery of the Incarnation. Last week we celebrated the Epiphany, the revelation of Jesus the light of the world to the magi, representatives of the Gentile world. 

  This Sunday we have another celebration of Jesus being revealed as Son of God as we recall His baptism by John in the Jordan River. This year's Gospel account is taken from Matthew's rendition of that wonderful moment. (See Mt. 3:13-17) I suppose it is natural to ask why was Jesus baptized in a baptism of repentance being that Jesus is the sinless one who has no need of repentance.After all John the Baptist himself asks the same question.

  There are several answers to that question.  Some Scripture scholars tell us that in order for Him to be the High Priest of the New Covenant He had had to fulfill the requirements of being a priest of th…

Jamaica, Part III

As you may have surmised from the previous two entries Jamaica is a land of contrasts. Amidst the poverty here there is a lot of natural beauty.  On Thursday I was treated to some of that as we climbed the mountains to a place called Strawberry Hills where we had "Tea". I use the quotation marks because as often as I have heard our British friends talk of Tea I was never treated to tea as an event.

  Jamaica  was once a British colony and so customs such as "Tea" in the late afternoon are still part of life here.

   Again the pictures speak for themselves.

    Moving on to Friday's experience I would like to point out that unlike my experience in Honduras where I go on a mission trip the Jamaica experience has put me more in the role of an observer, not as directly involved with the local people as I am in Honduras, though I did have some fine conversations with some Jamaicans.

    Friday took us to the north coast of Jamaica (Kingston is on the south coas…

Jamaica, Part Two

After the retreat for the sisters here in Jamaica I was treated to 3 days of touring to see the country and its natural beauty and to visit some of the ministry sites of the sisters here.  In this first group of pictures I went with several Franciscan sisters from the Philippines who work here and with Sr. Grace Yap, an Allegheny Franciscan to visit a cooperative organic farm that Sr. Grace is beginning as well as a student center in the town of Brees River where students can go after school to do homework and receive tutoring. The canter is partially funded by Bread for the world.  Both projects are part of the many things that Sr. Grace is involved with. We went there on January 1 in the evening for a New Year's Day appreciation banquet.

The pictures here are captioned and pretty much speak for themselves.

   The name of the Farm, Portiuncula Farm, is from the name of the first Franciscan church and friary in Assisi dedicated to Our lady of thge Angels but popularly called the…

Beginning An International Year--Jamaica

As the year 2014 kicks off I realize that it is going to be an international year.  I have been in Kingston, Jamaica since Dec. 26 to preach a retreat to the Allegheny Franciscan Sisters here. the retreat ended on New Year's Day and I am staying a few days longer to get to see the country and some of the other work that the sisters do here.  Later in the year I will be going to Honduras again with Christ the King parish in Little Rock, AR, and in October I am to be the spiritual director on a pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome.

  With this blog entry I will share the retreat and in a few days share about the second half of the experience. As you can tell by the pictures the  convent is on a beautiful piece of property which was once the Constant Springs Hotel when Jamaica was a British colony.  It is part of the campus of Immaculate Conception High school begun by Scotish Franciscans in the 1800's and later given to the care of the Allegheny Franciscans.  The school provides a wo…