Today is the Feast of Virgen del Carmen, the patroness of the country of Bolivia. I wondered about the impressive statue in the front of the church and Sister Yanira told me about this special representation of the Virgin Mary.
Our prayers today are filled with special attention to Mary, containing imagery of purity, motherly care and intercessions on our behalf. I am sure the Mass will have even more customs and traditions to mark the day.
I have been appreciating the faith of the people here in Ascención. Little gestures and big processions are outward representations of a deep faith that runs through the church here.
I witnessed this deep faith this week as the area had an "Encuentro" for five days with the children and teens. It was filled with excitement, relationships, learning and even some evangelization in the community. Bishops, priests, deacons and women religious all added their own energy to the encuentro. I wasn't a part of the days, but I heard from the sisters helping and a student I know about how inspiring and energizing it was.
I was able to attend most of the Masses, which were filled with enthusiasm, energy and lots of loud music. Although it probably was louder than some rock concerts in the US, it was so full of energy and singing youth that I couldn't help but be swept away by it. In the midst of it all, Mary stood, holding the colors of Bolivia in her hands.
I enjoyed imagining Mary in heaven laughing, clapping along with the songs during Mass and singing her heart out. I think she had a really good time.
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