Witness for Peace SE is sending 12 delegates to Colombia, January 17-27.  Their mission is to see firsthand the effects of US military aid and drug policy on this South American nation.  They will also observe creative ways that people have developed to live in peace in the midst of conflict.  Going on this trip are two parishioners, Melanie Martin and Gail Phares, the trip leader (shown above, L-R).  Our prayers will be with them while they are away.  We offered a community blessing for them at the 11:30 Mass on January 15th.

Similarly, two parishioners Jim and Cindy Rice (pictures above) are part of a delegation to Palestine and Israel with Coalition for Peace With Justice (CPWJ).  Their trip will consist of meeting with local people who are working for peaceful, non-violent solutions that uphold the human dignity of all people in the region; working with Palestinian farmers to replace olive trees destroyed by the occupation; and visiting various holy sites.  We will keep them in our prayers during their trip, January 31 through February 16.  There will be a community blessing for them at the Sunday 5:30pm Mass on Jan 29.

Jim explains, “as we studied more, and learned more, we felt increasingly called to get more directly involved.  We (especially Cindy) have been working with CPWJ on many different educational and advocacy efforts.  For some time we’ve been wanting to take the next step and visit; when this opportunity arose everything came together and we felt compelled to go.”

“We will do our best to represent our Community of St. Francis well,” says Jim. “We appreciate your prayers and look forward to sharing our experiences with you after we return.”

Christ, the Traveler

In their words on National Migration Week this year, the USCCB has asked us to see Christ in the traveler, pilgrim and migrant.  We send our heartfelt blessings to these parishioners as they witness on behalf of us and our faith in their upcoming journeys!