Bonus – AWOL?

by Paul on February 1, 2013

IMG_0415Gentle Readers,

You will have noticed that I have not exactly been terribly present of late.  The truth is that I went to Brazil to see my sister and got back late on Monday. I only had sporadic access to the very poor internet service available there.

On Friday, I leave for an 8-day immersion experience in El Salvador.  I may or may not be able to get online to respond to your comments. I am trusting in your patience and kindness.  Know that if I can communicate with you, I will.

Please pray for the success of this venture.  On Wednesday, the State Department issued a travel warning for El Salvador and five of our members decided to opt out of the experience.

Paul

[Photograph is of a beach-side parish church north of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil]

 

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth Renaldi February 1, 2013 at 2:38 am

That sounds worrisome. Maybe you should reconsider going? Please be careful. We need you at LP!

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Beth,

Everyone I’ve talked to says it will be safe. There is more violence in Chicago than in San Salvador!

Paul

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Lynda February 1, 2013 at 2:59 am

Paul, you will be in my prayers. Thank you for your kindness in keeping us informed. Blessings and peace.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Lynda,

Thank you. I rely on your prayers.

Paul

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Robin February 1, 2013 at 3:20 am

Prayers for an eye-opening and safe week.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Robin,

Thank you. I’m sure that it will be a memorable experience.

Paul

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Denise J February 1, 2013 at 4:04 am

I hope you have a wonderful immersion week, and I look forward to reading about it when you get back. Godspeed. Enjoy the weather.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Denise,

I’d rather have frigid Chicago than balmy weather, I’m afraid!

Paul

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Simon February 1, 2013 at 7:25 am

What is an “immersion week”? Whatever it is I hope it is fun and enlightening.

I did notice your comment earlier this week about your long weekend in Brazil visiting your sister. I did think how the world has become a much smaller place for everyone in the past thirty years. I’ll bet that as a wee lad in Belfast you didn’t dream that you’d be popping to Brazil for a long weekend eh? :-)

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Simon,

I’ve never participated in an immersion experience before (and here I am as the group leader!) but I’ve been told that it is a time to spend with and for the poor and vulnerable.

Paul

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Sasha February 1, 2013 at 9:39 am

Go with God!

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Sasha,

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Paul

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Andie February 1, 2013 at 9:50 am

Yes, our prayers are with you. Looking forward to you sharing this experience with us upon your return.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Andie,

We’ll see what develops. My colleagues who have already made this trip have returned shaken and unsettled.

Paul

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Phil Ewing February 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Godspeed there and back, Paul.
Blessings and prayers are with you.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Phil,

I rely on the prayers of others, so thank you.

Paul

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Bob February 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Our prayers are with you. Go safely, come back soon.
God Bless,
Bob

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Bob,

Thank you. I hope I will come back with all the others. The last thing I want to do is chicken out in the middle and start screaming, “Get me out of here!”

Paul

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Kathy February 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Praying for you all to have a safe and Blessed visit.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Kathy,

Thank you. Pray for the success of our visit, please.

Paul

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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn February 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Prayers for your journey. A priest friend of mine just got back from a Maryknoll-lead priest retreat to various places in Guatemala and El Salvador. He said there were things brewing. On the other hand, another priest friend of mine, a woman, an Episcopal priest, goes to El Salvador at least once a year, travels by bus with the locals, etc – she has been doing this for years. I will ask her to pray for your safety as well.

And not to suggest we stand on the train tracks and subject ourselves to danger frivolously, but is there anything safe about following Christ? I do realize that I type this from the comfort of my suburban parish office.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Fran,

I’m not worried. [Maybe I should be!] Chicago is more violent than San Salvador…

Paul

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Jody February 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Prayers for a safe and blessed trip. Be safe.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Jody,

Thank you for your prayers. They mean a lot.

Paul

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Michelle February 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Prayers are promised not only for your safety, but for a peaceful and just resolution for the people of El Salvador….

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm

MIchelle,

Amen to that sentiment.

Paul

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Reenie February 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Praying for you for safe journey. Fly with the angels!

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Katy February 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I add my prayers for a safe and peace-filled trip.

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Charlie February 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm

My prayers are with you for a safe and fruitful journey.

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Emma February 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm

You sure do get around! When we travelled through Guatemala, Belize and So. Mexico there were also travel advisories in effect. I am grateful that we didn’t let that deter us. The only instances when I felt threatened were the time the beetle snuck into the tent and when we got lost in the jungle (we were rescued and fed by a local, thank God) . I suspect those who returned shaken, were moved by the stark difference between what we think of as poverty in our country and the face of poverty as it reveals itself in other parts of the world. May you shine the Light of Christ onto whomever you meet. Our prayers are with you.

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Tim February 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Viaje seguro…

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Eli February 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Praying for your journey. May you, your group, and those you encounter be blessed and safe. Looking forward to reading your sharings.

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