Saturday, March 19, 2011

Outstations: Part 1

The experience of the outstations, the more distant churches and schools, has touched me more than anything yet.

A few weeks ago the pastor asked if someone could take communion on Sunday to Ptoyo, an outstation about 45minutes drive from Chepynal. Most of the outstation, mission churches, have communion services or ibadas on Sundays led by the local catechist. (Communion can only be given by a priest or a sister, so in most of these places the service is focused on the liturgy of the word.) Sr. Mary and I volunteered to go to Ptoyo to take communion to the people. We arrived at the simple church where children were waiting for the service to begin. The children were very shy around us and only spoke Pokot, the native language. We waited for a time and began the service with the church half full of children, who sang and responded with praise to God. As the service went on, adults joined us and by the end the church was filled. My experience in the parishes that I have visited here is that the church is very young. Children are the church and they are eager to learn, pray and grow in their faith. Recently, Sr. Nigysti, the General Councilor Africa, spoke to us during her visit in Kenya of the need for “life changing catechesis to promote social change.” This is a place where there is great possibility for that to happen. The question is, how will we respond to that call?

"Seeking to make the Lord known to those who are poor, they proclaim the gospel to them, explicitly wherever possible, but always through the witness of their lives. They are open to receiving from poor persons and to allowing themselves to be evangelized by them." C.24 b

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