Last month we hosted several Christmas parties at our centers in Juarez, Mexico. We invited the elderly and disabled to the Lord’s Food Bank, going to their homes to pick them up so they could join us for the festivities. Fr. Jack celebrate Mass with a lively mariachi band playing Spanish Christmas carols. Then the youth group put on a play reenacting the birth of Jesus. Several of our guests were blind, but because the young people spoke out their lines loud and clear, they seemed to enjoy the play very much despite not being able to see the actors. Our cooks worked hard to prepare a delicious hot meal of turkey, beans, tortillas, and pasta salad, which we served to our happy guests.
We held another Christmas party a few days later for the children and parents who attend Las Alitas, our center in east Juarez. Bishop Mark Seitz from El Paso, Texas, was our very special guest. He celebrated Mass and gave a wonderful homily about having expectant faith. Then he told the crowd, “You have given me such a warm welcome here, but I want to tell you that you have inspired me — how you live your lives with such faith! Despite all the problems, amidst the violence and poverty, you shine as a light in the darkness. You are an example, and I thank you all!”
With those beautiful words, Mass ended and the bishop stood outside our little chapel greeting everyone who had come. It was such a blessing that this very busy shepherd would take time to cross the border and celebrate with us, encouraging those we serve to persevere with faith and hope.
We prayed for all of you, our faithful friends and benefactors, that the Lord bless you and your families with a happy and healthy New Year!