Eucharistic Adoration at a Pan de Vida retreat.
The CFR Constitutions (n. 107) describe the friars mission of evangelization in the Church in terms of “preaching and teaching the Holy Gospel” and “sharing the rich treasures of our Catholic faith with all.” Our Constitutions go on to list some possible expressions that this mission of evangelization might take: “providing missionary centers for the poor, street evangelization, parish missions, retreats, days of recollection, pilgrimages, spiritual direction, pastoral counselling, religious education and sacramental ministry.” This list is practically a summary of the efforts we have undertaken to make the Lord Jesus and His Church more known and loved in Honduras.
From the earliest days of the mission the Friars have worked with youth, at first with one of the youth groups in the local parish.
As part of the Diocese of Comayagua’s celebrations in commemoration of the 500 th anniversary of the First Mass on the continental Americas (which was celebrated on the north coast of Honduras by a Franciscan priest in 1502), we were asked to conduct a Latino version of the YOUTH 2000 Eucharist-centered retreats that our Friars help to lead in the US and many other countries throughout the world. Since that first retreat in December of 2001, and working together with Missioners of Christ, we have conducted more than a dozen Pan de Vida (“Bread of Life,” the Honduran version of YOUTH 2000) retreats in various locations throughout Honduras and one in Nicaragua. Out of the experience of these retreats emerged a group of young people who desired to grow in their Catholic faith, deepen their spiritual lives and engage in activities of evangelization. In 2003 the Youth Evangelization Team was established. The team meets monthly for a day of formation that begins with a class on some portion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, moves on to a practical workshop on evangelization and leadership skills, and is interspersed with times of prayer that include the Liturgy of the Hours, the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration and Lection Divina.
The Friars and the Youth Evangelization Team collaborate on evangelization activities organized by Missioners of Christ that include Pan de Vida and other retreats, mountain village and neighborhood missions, door to door evangelization, events in public parks, days of recollection, and Pro Life seminars, among others. All of these efforts have a strong Eucharistic and Marian dimension.
An essential part of the Compañeros del Corazón de Cristo program is evangelization, religious education and reinforcing the Sacramental preparatioin that takes place in the parish. Casa Guadalupe is envisioned to be indeed, a “missionary center for the poor.” The Friars have taken the children and youth of the neighborhood, as well as the construction workers from Casa Guadalupe, on pilgrimage to some of the principal shrines of the country: the Basilica of Our Lady of Suyapa, Patroness of Honduras, and to the gigantic sculpture of Cristo Picacho that overlooks the capital city of Tegucigalpa, as well as to events such as the premier of The Passion of the Christ in Honduras.
In response to the grave shortage of clergy, the priests of our community have tried to be as generous as possible in helping to meet the immense Sacramental needs (Mass and Confession) of the local parishes, religious communities, church groups and movements, and Catholic institutions of the diocese. We have had the immense privilege of assisting many of our neighbors prepare for death with Confession, the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum. We have often kept vigil with the families of the deceased and helped a large number of the poor obtain coffins to bury their dead, celebrating funeral Masses for their departed loved ones in our friary chapel
Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
Convento San Serafin
Colonia Francisco Morazan