Greetings from Guatemala!

plangevin's picture

Jesús, manso y humilde de corazón ¡Haz nuestro corazones semejante al Tuyo!

This summer, following the completion of our second year of theological studies at Mount St. Mary's Seminary, Jeff Ellis and I have been assigned to spend 6 weeks studying the Spanish Language and learning about Latino-American culture in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. We arrived here on May 30 and will be returning to Connecticut on July 13. On Friday, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we completed one month here in this uniquely beautiful city. I think that it is safe to say that the Lord has been guiding us throughout this experience and has had more to teach us than simply improving our language skills; He has been working to conform our hearts more and more to become like his own.

During my conversation with mi maestra (my tutor) on Friday, we talked about the importance of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as a model for priests and those of us in formation, journeying toward the Holy Priesthood. In the familiar prayer used to begin this article, two important characteristics of Jesus' Sacred Heart are singled out: meekness and humility. Throughout his earthly life, Jesus demonstrated both characteristics in many ways. As Son, he was constantly seeking to follow the will of the Father in Heaven. As brother, he demonstrated tremendous love to all those he met, especially to the poor and outcast of society. As Risen Savior, he continues to show us his tremendous mercy in forgiveness of our sins. These are the true qualities of meekness and humility! Time and again throughout these for weeks here in Guatemala I have been reminded of the importance of these characteristics in the life of the Priest: through the challenge of struggling with a new language in the hope of being better able to serve God's people; through the humble example and tremendous hospitality of the Benedictine Community who are our hosts; and most especially in the joyful, vibrant faith and generosity of spirit exhibited by the people of Quetzaltenango which we have been so privileged to experience in these weeks!

I hope to share a bit more of our experiences (along with some photos) over the coming weeks! Attached is a photo of the altar dedicated to the Sacred Heart in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit here in Quetzaltenango. Please pray for us as we continue our studies, that the Holy Spirit will renew and strengthen us and that our time here may continue to form our hearts after the example of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Please know that all of you back home will have a special place in our prayers as well. ¡Que Dios los bendiga!

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart - make our hearts like unto Thine!

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