HONDURAN PARTNERSHIP ASSEMBLY
By Msgr. Larry Droll
The 14th Annual Assembly of the Hermanamiento (Texas/Honduras Partnership) took place in La Ceiba, Honduras June 22-26. Representatives of the four dioceses in this partnership attended, including all four bishops:
- Bishop Michael Sis of San Angelo,
- Bishop Joe Strickland of Tyler,
- Bishop Angel Garachana of San Pedro Sula and
- Bishop Michael Linehan of La Ceiba.
They signed an agreement to continue this partnership, at a Eucharist offered in the La Ceiba Cathedral, St. Isidore. Diocesan representatives reported on partnership activities in each diocese, expressing joy in the relationships between parishes. They discussed new possibilities for the future.
They toured several parishes: Natividad de Jesus, St. Anthony Claret, and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Interesting trips were also made to other church-related ministries: schools, a home for the elderly, and a center for natural medicines.
The Assembly ended with a lively morning at La Milagrosa Catholic School in Tela, with its 842 students. Sr. Malachy Griffin of San Angelo reflected on the partnership: "For these fourteen years I have found the Honduras Partnership to be a gift.
This year we enjoyed the best Honduras has to offerits people! In a country of serious contrasts and contradictions, we were overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity, honesty, service, intelligence, creativity and faith of our sisters and brothers.
These beautiful people come from a beautiful country. The mountains are magnificent, the sea a tranquil blue, the vegetation multiple shades of green, and we saw a myriad of colorful flowers and fruits. "One scene that was played out at La Milagrosa will be etched in my memory forever. A group of junior high students took to the stage to perform a dance from the Garifuna culture. In the audience, a special needs child of about nine was dancing with the "official" group, several of whom invited and encouraged her to join them. I will never forget the look of pure joy on the face of a little one with Down Syndrome nor will I forget the welcome she received from the older students nor the roar of approval from the spectators."
Participating in this Assembly from the Diocese of San Angelo, besides Bishop Sis and Sr. Malachy, were Leonor Spencer of Midland, Clementine Urista of San Angelo, Diana Madero of Odessa and Msgr. Larry Droll of Midland.
They expressed the hope that more parishes will join the partnership, to develop relationships with fellow Catholics in Honduran parishes or specific ministries. The experience expands participants' horizons of faith and appreciation for the Church universal.