The Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in the rural area outside of San Salvador is home to hundreds of poor farming people. The GOOD NEWS is proclaimed in their church and signs of God’s goodness like education, medical and dental care, a community slaughterhouse and other needed assistance are provided. The “Xiberta Center,” also in Ciudad Delgado, is home to nine young men who are preparing to be priests in the Carmelite Order. It is also a place of reflection and a center of culture and Christian and human formation for many local people.
In Peru, Carmelites care for the entire Diocese of Sicuani, a territory as large as the State of New Jersey. Parts of the diocese are 13,000 feet above sea level. Communities of desperately poor Quechua Indian people live in remote villages. Many of the children suffer from malnutrition and the terrible related diseases that go with it.
Carmelites minister in the Jose Galvez shantytown on the sand dunes on the outskirts of Lima. Many of their people have come down from the mountains in search of a better life. Some still live in dirt floor, one – room shacks without running water and electricity. We provide education for hundreds of the children, food pantries, medical and dental care and the other human services that are so necessary.
One of the missions in Mexico is in the City of Torreon in the country’s northern desert . . . a hot, dusty and dangerous place. Drive-by shootings and kidnappings are common. In the Carmelite parish of The Transfiguration of the Lord we have just completed a second home for young people whose parents are serving prison sentences in the city jail. Until now these abandoned kids could be cared for till age 13. Then they had to be sent back to whatever kind
of home they had or simply back to the streets. In the new home they will be safe, fed, clothed and sent to school until they are 18. Many, we hope, will go on to community colleges.
"Mary is more mother than queen."
St. Thérèse, Patroness of the Missions