On this Second Sunday of Easter, we are quietly preparing for the celebrations of the Holy Cross here in Bolivia. We celebrate May 3, not September 14 as in other countries. I had some time to reflect on the great Triduum we celebrated last weekend, and the great “team” of young people that joined us. The photo to the left is a part of the group — a mixture of Vincentian Marian Youth from El Alto, and current and former members of our “university” group. We had just paused on the uphill climb from Ingas, where we conducted an all-Holy-Saturday-morning catechesis with the youngsters of Ingas which centered on the symbols of the Triduum. On the right side of the picture, those of you who’ve been following the blog can pick out Diego (C.M.) and Flora Silva who collaborates with us. Next to her, in the baseball cap with the broad smile, is Ramiro, a.k.a. “Flaco,” our first graduate of the program. He now works as a vocational assessment specialist in a school in La Paz.

I’ve “cropped out” some other familiar faces, too. Claudia, one of the students your donations support was a delight to be with the whole weekend. She adopted my Pittsburgh Pirates hat for the walk to Ingas, as the sun her can burn your skin very quickly. Why Pittsburgh, you may ask? Well, if it’s a choice between a Yankees, a White Sox, or Pittsburgh, ya gotta go National League. She’s busy reading Leanoardo Boff for her theology class.

Ivan was great with the young people, and thoughtful in his comments during our reflection and planning sessions. He’s incredibly bright, very grateful, and has a strong sense of his future. You help sustain that vision.

Elvira. Quiet, thoughtful, almost intense. Quintessential Aymara woman. She maintains her focus and her cool — which was great asset when working with younger teenagers all weekend. As you all know, there’s a big difference on being 19 and being 15. She was a great model and leader for the younger ones.

Thanks again for your continued generosity. We still await news from the Diocese on funding for phase two of the Wilacala church. We’ve applied for a grant of $10,000 to apply exterior and interior stucco, lay the cement floor, and build altar and ambo. Meanwhile, here are all the shots, including images the parish church in Mocomoco at Eastertime…