Bolivia is my home now, and I hope I can dedicate the useful years of my life here as a Vincentian priest. Working with Diego, Cyrille, Flora, Violeta, Juvenal and Ramiro continues to give me the most satisfaction I have had in thirty-five years of ministry.
At the end of last year, the leaders of the Vincentian Community asked me if I would consider leaving the mission and dedicating myself to the development and extension of the Vincentian Family’s presence on the internet. It includes websites in multiple languages, as well as multilingual presences on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube… you name it, the Family is there! They sent me a rather extensive strategic plan and asked me to review it and consider their request. I cut a deal.
I indicated to my superiors that I didn’t think that I needed to leave the mission, nor did I want to. In fact, my presence in the missions could be a plus. I suggested that, with some initial moves that I could make from here in Bolivia, and an intensive burst of work during the second half of 2015, I could make the plan a reality. They agreed.While working in Mocomoco, I’ve built a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in Spanish. I’ve been revising parts of the plan and taking the plan to the level of concrete strategies and tasks to be accomplished. This will be the basis for dialogue with the team that does most of the work, and we need to firm things up so we can invite others to participate in the project. In May, I’ll be home for a short visit to see you all, to celebrate Nur Gorayeb’s graduation from St. John’s (Nur is the young Bolivian woman that I helped find her way to St. John’s) and to meet with the group that drafted the original plan. We’ll hammer out details, but the mid-range plan for me is to be in Philadelphia from September through January, working with Fr. John Freund, who has dedicated years to building this project and was the one who suggested me to succeed him. He will be a pleasure to work with. The long range plan is to return to work in Bolivia and manage and develop famvin.org and its parts from Bolivia, creating international teams of people who will collaborate on the “FamVin Project.” I even have an idea to involve my computer students in Ingas! And why not? The internet makes it possible to work, to connect and to collaborate from almost any part of the globe. I love Bolivia, and I love the possibilities that exist in a worldwide network of charity. I am grateful and excited to have the chance to participate in both!