People ask sometimes what I do on my visits to El Salvador. Originally I meant to work with some children, but that did not work out. In January 2006 I got on a plane, knowing only that I would be met at the airport, and that I was feeling a strong pull to go back after visiting the previous year. Needing a reason, I decided that I was going simply to build relationships and be in community with folks there. My friend Yani picked me up at the airport, and on the drive back to Santa Ana, she said, “We have been talking about why you are here, and we have decided that you are coming to build relationships and be in community.” She used the exact words that I used in telling myself why I was going. It still makes my heart leap.
For years I have been trying to bring people there to meet the folks I have met, to go further in building community and being in relationship, but it has not happened. On this last trip, however, I learned that there is a group of people in Philadelphia that are trying to do the same thing! I am very excited about this opportunity to build links between people who are trying to build the world God dreams of. Already, two of us are going from our community. If you are interested, here is a link to a pdf about the trip: http://files.me.com/romorgan/i421i7
Good things have already come from this connection. There is a group of people here who have been putting some young people in Santa Ana through school for several years, now. The scholarships came out of relationship… life-giving connections, built one conversation at a time. It is small, but it is real, and is already transforming several people’s lives there. Who knows what the future will hold?
Community is hard! …as we well know at St Joe’s. It requires a lot of forgiveness, a lot of hanging in there, and a lot of simply showing up. Laughing together is important. So is working together to build something beyond the community itself. I hope that St Romero’s will grow into a thriving community… may it be whatever God is dreaming for it to be.
Some of us are going to be meeting on Wednesday mornings at 8am at Pat’s Coffee Mug on Clinton Ave to work on our Spanish. You are welcome to join us.
Love to all
“In community lies the healing of the world.”
- Scott Peck
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Church in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14603