Chapels and Churches

On the move!I’ll bet you thought I had disappeared! We’ve been busy! Thanks to your help, the chapel/formation center is up and running (and running Flora ragged!) She works tirelessly, moving between the the locations of Mocomoco and Ingas, supervising the work that now includes catechism, school support, virtual library with computers, a lunch program, the child care center (in Mocomoco only), and distribution of food supplements to the most needy. We hope in the next year to open a similar project in the center in Wilalcala, and are developing a small outreach program to the youth in the sector surrounding Ilave (between the Altiplano sector and the Valley sector).

Bishop EugenioLast month, we celebrated baptisms, confirmations, and first communions in both Mocomoco and Ingas. We were honored with the presence of our bishop, Mons. Eugenio Scarpellini, who spent the weekend with us enjoying the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. He’s a dedicated pastoral servant, spending a great deal of time visiting the communities that are far from the city of El Alto where he resides.

Getting scaffolding ready!New on the horizon is the restoration of the church in Mocomoco. We’re getting the scaffolding ready! The folks who hail from Mocomoco but now live in La Paz hosted a fundraiser to restore the outside of the church (cooking and selling food) and raised $3,513.12! Last year, we changed all the electric in the child care center. This past march we refitted the kitchen in the catechist center. It’s not an ambitious budget from the US standpoint, but for us it’s a mountain! The budget for a two year project (outside 2014, inside 2015) is just under $10,000. Conservatively estimating next year’s fundraiser, that leaves us $4,000 from our fundraising needs for the whole project. $3,350 of that is a “this year” need. I’m mounting a “Kickstarter campaign, at the suggestion of my old friend Bob Jaeger of Partners for Sacred Places where I served as Chairman of the Board. Watch my twitter feed at the right sidebar (or on Twitter @fatherratgmail) for news about this campaign when it’s up and running!

In these photos, you can see the adobe damage, and the state of the gutters and leaders. The roof is good, but needs painting (it’s galvanized metal). The adobe can be patched and then whitewashed in the traditional manner. We have a plan in place to continue to whitewash every year to sustain the covering, and a ten year plan for one-coat roof paintings.

The interior was repainted badly (and all white — it looks nice in the pictures, but really isn’t), so we’d like to repaint with “warmer” colors.

Do you think you could interest any of our friends/partners/associates in donating to the cause? People can donate online at http://www.vocesvicentinas.org/donate.

HAPPY UPDATE: Jhony Ari Pampa, who was living with us since January, passed his entrance exam for a special institute for automotive engineering. Congratulations Jhony!

UNHAPPY UPDATE: The knee is a struggle. We’re trying autologous platelet injections to stimulate growth of what little cartilage is left. The goal is to postpone surgery for as long as we can. It hurts every day. I know, stop whining…. Blessings to all, and thanks for the many birthday wishes! And happy birthday to Veronica Galante Nolan (today) and Timothy Vincent Lyons (July 31)!

Share
Posted in Bolivia | Leave a comment

A New Need

Dear2013-06-29 21.08.43-1 friends of the Bolivian Mission:

Thank you for your constant prayerful and financial support of the mission. As you have seen on the blog and on Facebook, things continue to advance, as we enjoy much success thanks to you! The impact is indeed “miraculous”!

In order to continue our service we need to replace two vehicles — each with over 200,000 hard miles! We have identified Toyota Land Cruisers as the vehicles of choice: both for safety, utility and low maintenance and operating costs. The total price tag is $104,000, and we’re well on our way. With donations from foundations and the international Vincentian community, we’ve raised $79,322! That leaves $24,678 to go! The good news is that we have a dollar-for-dollar match in place to raise the final moneys. FOR EVERY DOLLAR YOU DONATE WE WILL RECEIVE AN EQUAL AMOUNT FROM THE DONOR UNTIL WE REACH OUR GOAL!

Please be as generous as you can and donate now at the donation page. Instructions are there for online donation or by check. As usual, the donations will be processed by the Miraculous Medal Association for transfer here.

Thanks in advance, and may God continue to bless you and yours!

Aidan

Share
Posted in Bolivia | Leave a comment

Bearing Fruit

Avoiding the Strong Sun!

Avoiding the Strong Sun!

I’ve been back in Bolivia a short while now, after a lovely visit with many of you. Thank you for all your kindnesses during my visit, and your continued support of the mission. I didn’t speak of this while I was home, because I wanted to see it actually happen before I said anything. Juan Ramiro Mallqui Patana, one of the graduates of our youth formation/university program, who graduated in 2012 with a degree in Educational Psychology and Curriculum Development, has returned to join the team in Mocomoco for one year. Last year, he worked in a special education setting in La Paz and then in Brazil(!), and decided to pause to “give back” to his own people.

Ramiro is a strong teacher and leader, and will work with catechesis, language and alphabetization with lectors and catechists, and human formation with those preparing to enter university. This year he guides Jhonny Ari Pampa and Rene Chagua Ari, our students preparing for higher studies; and Franklin Villca Mamani, Adriana Jimenez Mancilla, Laura Jimenez Mancilla, and Pilar Vera Loza, who are preparing for Confirmation within a catechumenal model. He will receive a small stipend for his personal needs. After this year, he hopes to move into the government education department to bring Catholic and Vincentian influence in a lagging educational system.

Open for business!

Open for business!

Today is a special day. This morning, Flora loaded the car with a few last things to go down to Ingas and officially open the formation center/lunch program in Ingas! She was, as is her character, confident and happy to be serving the poor. We opened and outfitted the center with your donations, as well as support form people like you in Spain and here in Bolivia. The Bolivians will continue to support the lunch program in coming years, but we’ll need to find additional support and donors for this program for 2015 and beyond. I’ll be posting a full budget so we can think about who we might reach out to for support.

A short pause in legal studies!

A short pause in legal studies!

Our students supported by people in the USA continue to thrive. Lic. Oscar Choconapi has graduated, and Dr. Felix Yujra has started his internship! Claudia Jimenez (supported by Eileen DiFranco’s Church community of St. Mary Magdalene) will complete her law degree this year. Jhonny Ticona (supported by St. Vincent’s Church) is in his last year of Computer Systems Analysis. Ivan Yujra (supported by an individual) is in his last year of Chemical Engineering. We’ll be looking for supporters of Jhonny Ari Pampa and Rene Chagua Ari, our volunteers in their pre-university year here in Mocomoco, when their time comes. Aida Flores has decided to delay her studies in nursing, and is working with the Sisters in a home for the aged. Maybe a vocation?

Huyu Huyu

Huyu Huyu

That’s all for now. The heavy rains have stopped and it’s a sunny day. Diego and Cyrille are in good spirits and working hard. Cyrille and Violeta are having great success with Sayt’asim — the development and systemic change project in Italaque. See the VSO bulletin article on page 2. I’m headed to La Paz to shop for some of our needs, visit with the Bishop, and then back on Wednesday!

Share
Posted in Bolivia | 2 Comments