We have had the great pleasure here in Caspizapa Peru in participating in the celebrations of Mother's Day and the month of Mary. The tradition here in as in many places is to pray a rosary with the traveling statue of Mary. We have been participating in this every evening with the community. It has been a humbling but amazing experience. Humbling because the small children can pray in Spanish better than I can. Amazing to see their fervor and love they have for our Blessed Mother. Processing by candlelight and singing hymns loudly through the streets traveling to the next house with Mary. We had the great pleasure of having Mary come to our house last Friday. With our house packed with women and children like sardines in a can we prayed and sang fervently with great love and respect for our Blessed Mother. Begging for her intercession to her Son Jesus Christ for the growing of the faith in this community and for the children.
We feel that Mary has had a special hand in having us sent here to this community, this region in Peru. This was made apparent to us at our first meeting with we the priests. As they shared with us the background and demographics of this area it seemed oddly familiar to me and became clear when they shared the patron of the region is Our Lady of Perpetual Help. As it was in the early days of the settlement of Wisconsin in the year of 1859 when Our Lady of Good Help appeared to Adele Brise the area filled with young immigrant families attempting to scratch out a living in a new untamed land without easy access to the sacraments and religious formation. The Blessed Mother appeared to Adele with this message "Teach my children about Jesus, how to make the sign of the cross, confess their sins, and receive Holy Communion. Do not be afraid for I will be with you." And so it is here in the province of San Martin and the region of Picota that the majority of the people are young immigrants from other parts of Peru. We work with two amazing priests who are in charge of 120 pueblos stretching across vast areas of the jungle. And Mary has brought us here from Wisconsin where her message began to a young Belgian girl to Peru and said" teach my children about my son Jesus. Help them to prepare for their sacraments and help them to see the dignity in each other and themselves through the Theology of the Body a great gift given to the church by Saint John Paul II.