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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Fr Kevin Dring writes from Peru - 13
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¬†Dear Friends... Queridos Amigos, I had a wonderful holiday back in the UK and it was great to catch up with so many people in so many places, family and friends. I did feel a wee bit "frazzled" by the end of the six weeks, but definitely had my emotional batteries given a good re-charge! Thanks for all the kindness and hospitality from so many of you. I loved seeing England and the beginnings of Spring and being able to walk in the Sussex countryside and along Brighton seafront. Lovely to be able to walk without having to ascend 1,000 metre high mountains... as beautiful as they are. Also really enjoyed eating food other than chicken and rice for a few weeks - though (I do NOT exaggerate) have had c & r every day since I've been back in Peru (two wks) and even on the plane from Spain they served paella which essentially is .............. chicken and rice. It was great to visit a number of parishes and I was deeply touched by the generosity of people in wanting to make donations towards projects here in Peru. I actually was able to send $20,000 back to Peru from England all of which will be going directly and immediately into very good projects that will benefit so many of the most needy people here. A few parishes have pledged longer term support which is wonderful and greatly appreciated by the Bishop Dan and the Diocese. So ≠ sincerely THANK YOU all who made contributions. From holiday straight back into Holy Week (Semana Santa) - "hit the ground running" as the saying goes! I must say that I missed the people here when in was back in the UK and received an incredibly warm welcome back. Children running up to me in the street "Padresito Kevin..... you're back (or words to that effect!)". I had the impression that some people really didn't think they'd ever see me again! So good to be back and a great celebration of Semana Santa. Holy Thursday again and "picnic time" in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament! The young people again movingly acted out the Via Crucis on Good Friday... and then through the great celebration of the Easter Vigil we reached the early morning of Easter Sunday (La Pascua del Senor) for the 5.30am procession which began at 6.30 - I must remember I'm now back on "hora Peruana" [Peruvian time] which simply means everything starts one hour later than planned!! He is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia However many times I've celebrated Holy Week, I'm always left with a great sense of wonder at the immense joy and hope that bursts forth from the Empty Tomb. Praise the Lord! As I write this letter we're half way through our five day Diocesan planning meeting (Encuentro Pastoral) with Bishop Dan and around 120 priests, religious and lay people from all the parishes. From here we return at the end of the week to take up the work of this year. Plenty to be getting on with!! Take good care and wishing you and your family much peace and joy in these Easter days. Felices Pascuas! Con mucho afecto, Fr Kevin is a priest from the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.
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