by Fr. Tom Merrill, OFM Conv.
As Friars, we walk in faith, and much of our work of proclaiming the Gospel and serving the church has intangible results that are not easily measurable. It is true that we can record the number of Baptisms conferred, the number of the ill and infirm we visit, or the number of students we’ve taught over the years. To measure how the grace of God has worked through our attempts to preach the Gospel to others is much more difficult.
However, once in a while God’s love for us gives a glimpse that our efforts are not in vain. As I write this, I am in Central America to represent our Provincial, Fr. Jim Kent, at the annual meeting of Central American Friars, who work among the people of Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala . Among the 26 Friars present for the meeting, the Friars pictured here have a special meaning for me because I was blessed to live with them during their first years of formation as postulants in Costa Rica. I am also blessed because of your prayers and support over all these years have made it possible for them to have a place to live, the possibility to receive a philosophical and theological education, and so much more. Today in many and varied ways, they enrich the lives of the other Friars and the church in Central America.
(Left to Right) Friar Isidora Mejia- Hernandez, 45, is currently serving as the Custos (regional superior) of the Central American Friars. He has served as Pastor in several of our parishes. Friar Erick Marin- Carballo, 38, serves as Formation Director for the Postulants. Friar Javier Ernesto Guerra, 45, serves as the Formation Director for Friars in temporary vows studying philosophy and theology. Friar Jonhatan Vargas-Ramirez, 36, has served as Administrator in many of our friaries and parishes. Friar Enoc Zeladon-Hernandez, 48, has served as Director of Formation and currently is Pastor of Jesus of Mercy Parish in San Salvador. Friar Edgar Ramirez- Arrias, 47, currently teaches at St. Paul High School in Costa Rica, and Friar Arturo Vallejo-Escoto, 54, now serves as Pastor at Santa Ana Parish in Campamento, Honduras.
Please continue to pray for these Friars and all the Central American Friars as they work more closely together to build up the Church in Central America.