Discerning the call to Honduras

In May 2006 I visited Honduras. In March a spring break work trip with parishioners in the parish where I was working took us to New Orleans. There I was moved to consider whether I should move on to something different, something more.

El Salvador was one possibility and I applied for a position there. But letters I had been reading from a friend in Honduras led me to consider the possibility of offering my services there.

I wrote Sister Nancy about my thoughts and she urged me to come, visit her,  and talk with the bishop. I agreed.

After a visit with friends in El Salvador and a visit to the site of the possible position there, I crossed into Honduras.

I shared a few days with Nancy before visiting with the bishop who welcomed me to come but advised me that the diocese had no money for me.

But on the Saturday before seeing the bishop I went with Nancy to a rural village in the parish of Gracias, Lempira, where she serves.

The lectionary readings that day are those used today.

The first reading is Acts 16: 1-10. Paul and Timothy cannot go to one place, because the Spirit did not allow them One night Paul has a vision, a dream, where a Macedonian comes and tells him: “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

I could not help but think that the message was for me, “Come over to Honduras and help us.”

That reading from Acts helped me to decide to come here. Prayer, discernment with my spiritual director and with friends, as well as the support I received from people at St. Thomas, also helped me to make the decision.

Still, people ask me why Honduras and not El Salvador, which I knew and had visited and where I had worked a few times.

The call of God from the people of Honduras is clearly one reason. The acceptance of Bishop Santos is another. Sister Nancy’s witness also helped me discern.

But the more specific reasons for my presence here is that Honduras is poorer than El Salvador, and is probably the second poorest country in the Americas. Also, there was less solidarity with the church and the people here than with El Salvador.

But central is the call I heard that day, “Come over to Honduras and help us.”

I came and do not regret the call – almost five years now in Honduras.


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