March 2007 Newsletter


It is a pleasure once more to give you an insight into life here on the Missions. When I sat down to begin writing this newsletter, I thought that, since it was only a few months since I last wrote, there would be not much to report, but as ever I looked back to before Christmas and loads has happened – as one wise priest said to me recently: “It might be hard at times on the Missions, but it’s never boring”! There are also a few projects just about ready to begin therefore a few pleas for help. I hope you enjoy this offering of life in Nueva Prosperina, Guayaquil.

In this newsletter:

  • The Building of the Parish Church.

  • Medical Centre & Nursery.

  • Our “Holy Family of Nazareth” Parish School.

  • Youth Groups.

  • On the Other Hand.

  • “A Wedding in the Offing”.

  • The First Communion Day.

  • Many Thanks.

  • Charity Status.

The Building of the Parish Church

I am very happy to report that this particular building project is well on schedule and should be complete well ahead of the date of the official opening on 10th June this year. Every day I visit the site and every day there is something new: a colour scheme to choose, a stained glass window to adjust, a wall to be plastered, a fence to be erected. What has amazed me is that since the start in mid-March of last year, there has been slow and steady progress. I have never really seen anyone slacking – not that I have much experience of building sites. I do actually feel that the workers have put themselves into the whole project, whether it has been the making on-site of the Church benches or the making of a large mosaic of the Risen Christ filling the whole of the outer back wall (a wall which dominates the whole sector).

Yes, everything seems to be well on schedule for the official opening on Sunday, 10th June – that date was chosen since it is the feast of Corpus Christi (the Parish feast day). I have set up a group to organise the events throughout the whole parish; and then, on the day itself, there will be a street party very much in the Latin American style. The Archbishop of Guayaquil has agreed to do the honours and two priest friends from Scotland, Bishop Ian Murray and Fr. Donald MacKay (my rector and vicerector from seminary days), will be present also. Of course, if anyone else wishes to join in the festivities, they would be made most welcome: as my sister always says “Mi casa es tu casa.”

And Finally…

So, it’s becoming a bit of a story this part of the newsletter. I seem to talk about nothing other than the dogs! Well, as promised, in the last bulletin

I have another dog!

Pablo Ruiz, the architect who built the school, had promised a pup from his last litter. He came up with the goods just in time for Christmas; I suspect that he wants to keep in with me for possible further work. After an initial hesitation the dog’s name is ‘Oso’ (bear) and he is a pedigree Gold Retriever. He is full of life and has become a great pal for Chiquita who had been on her own for several months. The only problem is that I now have two very enthusiastic dogs to take for a walk every night – so, as far as my parishioners are concerned it’s a case of ‘Gringo gets taken for draggies’. Having said that, it is a good opportunity to meet the folk as I go around the streets, even at night –time.

Read the full March 2007 Newsletter here:

A4 Newsletter (March 2007)

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