Parishioner Reflection: A Visit to Maria Madre de Los Pobres Sister Parish

After a parish blessing and send-off at a 9:30am Sunday Mass, a Holy Trinity Parish delegation visited our sister parish of Maria Madre de los Pobres in El Salvador from July 18-24. Among the eight delegates were three “regulars” who have visited often, three on a repeat visit, and two going for the first time. For all there were fresh experiences and personal connections, and the visit served to renew the bonds between our two parishes. May these reflections also encourage each parishioner to feel involved in this mission of Holy Trinity.

Church as the Body of Christ: The delegation was received warmly at the first evening dinner with the entire parish staff of lay leaders, about twenty with their one priest, Padre Luis, who considers himself a brother among equals.  Maria Madre parish is a mirror of Holy Trinity, reflecting a view of the church as the whole Body of Christ with diverse ministries. Our sister parish is a model encouraging each of us at Holy Trinity to assume active roles as members of the Body of Christ in the world today.

Support of children: Holy Trinity has taken on support especially of the education mission of Maria Madre. Delegates met with the principal and some teachers of the parish school to see the good use they have made of the significant support given to them by HT. Delegates also visited the other schools in which some students are sponsored individually by “godparents” from Holy Trinity. There is a waiting list of students who would like to have a “godparent.” Sponsorship is only $300 a year per student, so HT parishioners may want to join those engaged in this ministry. Students in the parish school expressed their thanks through music and dance to our delegation representing all the godparents.  In turn, the HT delegates were able to deepen ties with the “godchildren” through family visits, through delivery of notes and gifts sent by sponsors who were not able to come in person, and through an enjoyable trip with godchildren to a water park.  (As an aside, godparents are discovering ways of enriching their relationships with godchildren through web translation sites and social media apps.)

Solidarity and Option for the Poor: Finally, the visit to Maria Madre Parish made concrete our call to walk with those experiencing injustice and to accompany each other in the works of justice and peace. The delegates visited the tomb of Saint Oscar Romero, beloved of the parishioners at Maria Madre, because he gave his life on their behalf. The delegates also joined in a peace march to bear witness to the need for peace and justice in the gang ridden neighborhoods of the parish. Another morning was given to visiting a Salvadoran government center for processing migrants who either tried unsuccessfully to enter the US or were deported from within the US.

This year’s summer visit to Holy Trinity’s sister parish was again enriching for both communities, renewing ties, accompanying each other in Christ, and offering each other genuine signs of hope in a broken world.  You are warmly invited to learn more about this year’s immersion trips to Maria Madre de los Pobres and the US/Mexico border by attending a special information session on September 8 from 10:10am in the Upper School Cafeteria. If you are unable to attend and would like more information, please contact Margie Legowski at margielegowski@gmail.com .

-Tony Tambasco