A Typical Day in Guatemala

plangevin's picture

During our time in Guatemala, we have learned and seen a lot! It is difficult to believe that we only have one week left here before returning to the US. In this post, I thought I would give you an idea of our typical daily schedule and let you know a little about the community who have been so generous in hosting us in these weeks.

Since arriving in Quetzaltenango 5 weeks ago, we have been living and taking our language classes at Priorato y Colegio San José - a small but vibrant community of Benedictines (Order of St. Benedict) who work to educate young men in their High School (Colegio) as well as approximately 120 college seminarians from dioceses throughout the country studying philosophy. Each day we have the privilege to pray with the Benedictine community which consists of three priests, two professed brothers who are preparing for the Priesthood, two candidates who are also students in the Colegio, and a friendly dog named "Spike." We rise before the sun and attend Mass at 5:45am which is followed immediately by Morning Prayer (Lauds). Following breakfast, we go to class with our individual tutors (maestras) for 4 hours from 8-12. Our classes have generally been a mixture of conversation and a review of Spanish grammar. At 12:30 we stop to pray midday prayer and have lunch. The afternoons are filled with a combination of homework, exercise, the occasional excursion to explore part of the city or surrounding area as well as some much needed rest. We gather together again at 4:45 for Evening Prayer (Vespers) and have dinner together at 6:00. At 6:45 we gather for the final time in the Chapel to pray Night Prayer (Compline) and spend a couple more hours working on homework, or talking about our day with the other seminarians who are studying here (12 in total) including two of our classmates from the Mount!

On the weekends we have had more free time to explore the city and learn more about the people and culture here in Guatemala. We have attended Mass in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit here in Quetaltenango - where we were also able to participate in an amazing Eucharistic procession for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. It is always a powerful experience for me to attend Mass in another country. I am constantly struck by the strong unity of the Church, particularly in the Sacred Liturgy, but also deeply moved by the immense diversity of expression through music, art, customs and language used to give praise to God in thanksgiving for His many blessings.

Please enjoy a few photos taken around the Monastery, including of our daily Mass Chapel, the larger Monastic Church and of Spike. ¡Que Dios los bendiga!

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