On July 19, 2019, the friars of the Provincial Custody of Mary Mother of Mercy in Central America celebrated some joyful and fraternal events to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of their missionary presence in El Salvador.
The friars thanked God by celebrating a Mass in the crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador. In addition to the confreres, the Mass was attended by some faithful from the neighboring Parish of Jesús de la Misericordia.
In his opening admonition, Friar Erick Gerardo MARÍN CARBALLO, the Vicar Guardian of the Friary of San Antonio de Padua, provided some historical data about the arrival of the first friars. Friar Grevin Oliver SIERRA RIVERA, a Definitor of the Custody, presided over the Mass.
After reading the Gospel, Friar Javier Ernesto GUERRA shared some anecdotes about how he and that first group of friars lived together in El Salvador in 1994. He expressed his gratitude in particular to the friars who encouraged that first mission, namely, Friars Lawrence MATTINGLY, Mark WEAVER and Phillip LEY from the Province of Our Lady of Consolation in the USA. He also thanked all the Central American friars who at that time had promoted and encouraged the presence, namely, Friars Delio DÍAZ LEMUS, Marcio Rolando MATUTE BERDE, and José Ramiro LAZO MORENO, who were all present.
The Mass was animated by the choir “Pan y Vida” [Bread and Life] from the Parish of Jesús de la Misericordia. At the end of the Mass, the friars prayed before the tomb of Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero, asking for his support and encouragement in the task of walking together with all Salvadorans.
Afterwards, everyone went to the new Friary of San Antonio de Padua, which was blessed by Friar Juan Alonso PAGOADA ACOSTA, a Definitor of the Custody. The festivities concluded with a fraternal lunch.
We bless God for allowing us to celebrate this special time for our Custody and for our service in His Kingdom.
Friar Javier Ernesto GUERRA, Chronicler