“Is this not the fasting I desire… to shelter the homeless poor?” Is 58:6,7
Starting with our initial visit to Honduras in the summer of 1999, we began to assist families who had lost or suffered damage to their homes as a result of Hurricane Mitch. Initially we helped about 50 indigenous families in the Chinacla and Guajiquiro regions of the department of La Paz construct or repair their homes. Shortly after establishing our permanent presence in Comayagua in June of the Jubilee Year 2000, the Friars were approached by the local pastor with a request for housing assistance for the poorest mountain community attached to his parish: Los Planes del Horno, a three hour’s difficult drive from the friary.
Closer to home, we have helped several of our poor neighbors buy or build their own homes. We rent houses for a few other families.These are normally exceptional cases involving family members with physical or mental disabilities.
Many other families have been helped with home improvements such as new roofs, doors and windows, water connections and outhouses, as well as occasional rent assistance.
With the help of our benefactors we have also been able to help construct, complete or improve of several Catholic chapels in remote villages, providing our brothers and sisters there with a place to meet regularly to hear the Word of God, pray, catechize and – when their parish priest is able to make the trip – celebrate Mass and the Sacraments of Baptism, Confession, Confirmation and Matrimony. Having a dignified chapel is crucial for maintaining the identity, faith and strength of these fledgling Catholic communities.
Franciscan Friars of the Renewal