March 4, 2018
3rd Sunday of Lent
“Destroy this temple
and in three days I will raise it up.”
I am away on an 11 day mission trip to Guatemala, and I wanted to share with you some of the wonderful reasons I am participating in this trip.
In case you’re not familiar, Guatemala is the country just south of Mexico. And the village I am staying at on this trip is called San Lucas Toliman.
Over the last 3+ years I have come to love Guatemala very much. I first traveled there in the summer of 2014 when I went to study Spanish. I had just been assigned to the church of Divine Mercy in Faribault, and I needed to be able to celebrate Mass in Spanish, so I went to Guatemala for six weeks of Spanish study. Since that first trip, I have returned to Guatemala multiple times for more Spanish study and to lead mission trips.
Over this time, I had the opportunity to make friends, participate in the culture of the region, and visit many places. The culture of Guatemala is very rich and full of tradition. Especially noticeable in the region of Guatemala where I visited is the beautiful and colorful clothing of the people. The women especially take great pride in their hand-woven clothing, which can take up to six months to complete one item, but it is the most beautiful clothing when completed.
Another highlight of this area is the great beauty of the landscape. Most of Guatemala, and especially the region I am in, is very mountainous, formed by volcanoes and earthquakes. Most of the volcanoes are now dead, but they have left behind a picturesque landscape. Of particular beauty is Lake Atitlan, which is surrounded by three inactive volcanoes. San Lucas, where I am staying, is located right next to this beautiful lake and at the base of one of the volcanoes.
Another highlight of my previous time in Guatemala has been the opportunity to visit and celebrate Mass at many small villages. The church I stayed at on previous trips has about 30 little villages that the priests serve. Some of these villages are so remote that a priest is only able to visit them about once a month. I had the great privilege of visiting several of these villages for Mass.
When I return, I will give a presentation and explain all of this in greater detail. Thank you for your prayers!
The current trip I am on is with students from the Newman Center at Mankato State University. You can follow our blog at: https://msunewman2018.wordpress.com/
You are in my daily prayers.
God bless you,
Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke