Our SCN mission in the Toledo District of Belize

As you will recall, the PLT made the exciting announcement this past September that our SCN community will once again have a presence in San Antonio, Belize with the reopening of this mission by SCNs Higinia Bol and Christine Kunze.

Sisters Higinia and Chris will be living in the parish house in San Antonio village and will be a part of the parish team of St. Peter Claver Parish. This parish, located in Punta Gorda town, serves 22 villages, some of which are in the very remote areas of the Toledo district. The focus of our ministry is one of presence with the people of the Mayan villages. This includes meeting and visiting with the people (especially the women), offering support to the catechists, dialoguing with village leaders, and offering religious education workshops to teachers. As the mission unfolds, Higinia and Chris will integrate their backgrounds of social work and nursing into this ministry.

The past months have been spent preparing to begin this mission. This has included the search for a vehicle that can handle the rough terrain, introducing the PLT to the Toledo district on their recent visit to Belize, repairing and cleaning of the house (which has not been lived in for almost 15 years), and traveling with Fr. Louis McCabe, SJ to some of the villages when he is celebrating Mass to be formally introduced to the people.

Along with three young and energetic high-schoolers, Higinia and Chris spent December 29 through January 3, 2014 cleaning and scrubbing the parish house in San Antonio from ceiling to floor. Many years of dust and cobwebs were removed, and the house seemed to come back to life!

The date of January 6, 2014 was the original moving date and the beginning of our permanent presence in the Toledo district. However, due to further renovations needed on the house this date was delayed. A second date was set for January 9, but two days prior a message was received from the pastor that a hive of African bees was found in the roof of the house, and an attempt to rid the house of these bees resulted in a tree limb falling on an electrical line, cutting off current to the house. Therefore, a delay was once again requested until further notice from Fr. McCabe.

While some renovations are yet to be done, the house is ready to be occupied. Hence, on Sunday, January 12, 2014 our SCN mission in the Toledo district will further come to fruition as Sisters Higinia and Chris will move into the house in San Antonio and begin full-time ministry in the villages.

A moving truck will transport some furniture and house supplies to the village, leaving Belize City at 6 a.m. to arrive in San Antonio around mid-day. The sisters will not have internet connection immediately, so their main source of communication will be via cell-phones. It is hoped that internet will be available at the house in the near future and a notice will be sent when this is available.

Please continue to keep our Sisters and this mission in your prayers.

Higinia and Chris wish to say thank you for all the support, prayers, and good wishes they have received throughout the unfolding of this new mission.