El Salvador 2008: Day 2 – Santa Maria Virgen
Sunday morning came early with 7am breakfast and Sunday worship at Santa Maria Virgen.
Father Julio Rivera invited Peter Chase to co-celebrate the Pentecost Sunday service with him. Mark McKone-Sweet assisted with communion, and Ariel Acuna acted as a translator as needed. In addition to Pentecost, this Sunday was also American Mothers’ Day (Salvadorian Mothers’ Day was the day before) and also Mary Erickson’s birthday – and Father Julio celebrated them all! The highlight may have been when Father Julio pulled four roses out of the altar flowers and presented one to each of the mothers in our group.
Near the end of the service, St. Mary’s presented to the parish a plaque commemorating fifteen years of continued friendship between the two parishes.
After the hour and a half service, Father Julio walked us two blocks to a plot of land owned by the church that had been purchased for them by Father Larry Walton nearly fifteen years ago where they plan to someday build a new church building. (Larry was the former rector of both Saint Mary’s and Santa Maria Virgen.) Father Rivera also gave us a tour of an adjacent plot of land and shared his dream to someday purchase the plot and build both a church and a school to serve the people in this working poor community.
We then walked back to the church where a lunch of grilled meat, rice, and tortillas was awaiting us in the church courtyard.