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An End and a Beginning

This, my friends, will be the last entry for The Wandering Friar blog.  No, I am not finished writing.  You may have notices that entries have been infrequent and scattered.  I have decided to start a new blog in order to give me a new focus. You will hear from me shortly

Fr. John

Still Wandering and preaching the Word.

The Lord of the Dance

I arrived home from Peru, tired but full of joy and gratitude.  I was intending to begin with a description of various aspects of the Unbound program in Peru and I will be doing that in my next entry.  However, as I brought this experience to prayer and reflection another aspect of this trip, a very important one, emerged for me. You see, I encountered the Lord there. He danced with me.

  One of my favorite hymns come from a 19th century Shaker community, the Lord of the Dance.  Each line of the hymn basically says that Jesus danced with us at each stage of  His life.  The chorus, however, goes beyond that. It says:

Dance then, wherever you me be.  I am the Lord of the dance said He.  I'll lead you all, wherever you may be.  I am the Lord of the Dance, said He.

   The trip to Peru as one of Unbound's awareness trips.  It is not called a mission trip because the focus is on becoming aware of not only the work of Unbound, but also the realities of the countries we visit.  While…

Sponsored Elders an Special Needs

On this final day of our journey we met with a gathering of  sponsored elders and special needs people. It was truly a joyful time, one of being overwhelmed by their love and appreciation. After that it was off for a nice lunch and on to a hotel near the airport





Meeting My Sponsored Friend

Today was the highlight of the trip, meeting our sponsored friends. Pictures say it all


Wonderful Mother’s of Unbound Kids

Today we again broke up into three groups to attend a meeting of Unbound mothers.  They make decisions as to how the sponsorship money is doesn’t and also decide on other activities to earn more money for their families.  We also did some sightseeing including the Lima Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in the Americas More details next week.






Visiting Unbound Sponsored Family

we had a great time today, split into 3 groups, visiting sponsors friends homes.
Did some sight seeing in the afternoon





Let the Children Come to Me

We had a great day today visiting a community and seeing some sponsored kids engaged in educational activities, doing crafts from recycled materials and gardening vegetables.  It was a great time and the kids were wonderful.  Again a few pictures, more whe I return home.





A Wonderful Unbound Community

Yesterday was a long. Day and I didn’t get to post on this blog.  What I will attempt for the feast of the week is to give a brief summary of each day and write a lengthier post next week when I am back from in the states.

We visited Huaycan where there are over 1000 sponsored friends.  We stopped at the Unbound office there and were treated royally by sponsored friends with a great greeting, an exhibition of some of the projects there including a show demonstration f their work with recycling  and the environment, They also performed several typical folk dances.

Here are a few pictures, more next week


The Journey begins in Peru

No promises to do this everyday but I will try, busy schedule and weak internet,
We arrived this’s morning and are getting acclimated, Our program begin in earnest tomorrow as we will visit different areas where Unbound is working at giving people a hand up, not a hand out.There a several. Interesting initiatives among the sponsored people.
 The pictures below show St. Francis Solanus Retreat Center and some of the nearby homes standing precariously (I think) on hillsides.
Al




A New Direction

As I write I imagine that some of my regular blog readers have thought that my blogging days are over.  They almost were.  I was running out of gas, new thoughts and ideas. Also, I wanted to avoid the vitriol afflicting our society and passing over the internet.

  I have decided, for the time being at least, to use this blog to offer folks a glimpse into my life and ministry.

   For almost thirty-two years I have been an itinerant preacher, preaching over 500 parish missions, several retreats for priests and religious and a number of days of prayer and recollection. For the past 3 years I have preached weekend campaigns for Unbound, a wonderful Catholic charitable organization that invites people to sponsor children and elders in various poor countries. Every one of these events had given me the opportunity to meet some interesting people and more importantly to experience God's action in many lives.

   Since I last wrote on this blog I have been in Florida, Utah, Georgia, Mis…

I Have Done What Is Mine to Do,May Christ Teach You What is Yours to Do.

Our friary community has just finished a retreat presented by Ray Bucher, OFM.  The theme of the retreat was the spirituality of aging.  Interestingly enough I had to pass up the last day of the retreat to have a colonoscopy.  I have had several.

   As well as offering me some valuable insights on aging the time has afforded me the opportunity to refocus the aim of my life and ministry.

    Ray, our retreat director, cited, among others, a work by Sr. Joan Chtister, OSB, The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully.  I won't be using this entry to offer a workshop on that subject, but I have begun to read the book and one line that jumped out to me is this "Life after sixty-five is not a pathology. It is  whole new look at what life can be at this stage".

   Those words express what I have been feeling lately. So, what can life be for me?  In spite of what I consider to be minor health issues for my age I am living a dream, preaching the Word of God and living in a won…

We Three Kings--A Revelation

Yesterday we in the Western Church (Roman Catholic and Protestant) observed the Feast of the Epiphany (Greek for Manifestation or revelation) and heard the story of the visit of the magi to Bethlehem.  The Orthodox Church celebrated Epiphany as the Baptism of Jesus, which we in the West will celebrate this coming Sunday.  In addition the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana (recalled in 2 weeks) was noted in the early Church as an Epiphany Feast because there Jesus is revealed as Son of God.

   All three of these events have profound meaning but to me the account of the visit of the Magi is rich and filled with meaning.  It has also inspired several spinoff stories such as Ahmal and the Night Visitors which I took the time to view last night.  I highly recommend it.

    Did this event really happen?  I like to think that it did in spite of the fact that there have been many embellishments.  Matthew's Gospel 2:1 simply tells us that magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem asking …