We started out building homes, and now we’ve built the St. Jerome Mission! This parish center, rectory, parish office and retreat center was dedicated on March 17, 2012. Go to Our Mission Video to watch both projects. The Dedication video is in Spanish, but watch and see their joy when Bishop Conley’s letter is read, announcing the gift of an additional thirty thousand dollars! Ft. Pedro is motioning up towards the third floor, where the dormitories for the Retreat Center will be.
How did we get here?
While spending a hot summer week in Juarez a few years ago building homes in a barrio there, we were approached by the gentle people who live and die in the slums there. We were asked several times,
“What do you do in the U.S.?”
“We work as accountants and teachers and doctors, and some of us teach Scripture in the Catholic Biblical School. “
Oh how they loved to hear this, and then they asked,
“Why won’t you come back and teach us about the Bible?”
And so this project was born.
The St. Jerome Mission will be a catechetical center in the San Carlos Barromeo Parish in the Diocese of Juarez, under the direction of Father Pedro Gonzales. This Center will provide a safe place for parish sacramental events—weddings, baptisms, quinceneras—in the middle of one of the poorest areas of Mexico. It will also be a center for Adult Religious Education, especially the study of the Scriptures for those most in need of the great comfort to be found there.
We are at the half-way mark in the construction of the Center. This beautiful building will be a place of hope and faith for those who struggle to find hope in these dark times for the city.
What began as a long-term building project in a far-away barrio has been (almost) completed! Ben went to Ciudad de Juarez on March 17th to celebrate the dedication of the St. Jerome Mission! Thanks to you and all the generous contributors from the Archdiocese of Denver, it is now a beautiful parish center, retreat center, parish office, and rectory.
Please go to the Articles link to read the most recent article, in which Ben tells of his joyous trip there last month (2012). Go to the Our Mission Video to watch the years of home building (first video) that led up to the idea of building a parish/retreat center. The Dedication of that center, the St. Jerome Mission, is the subject of the second video. This short (3.30 minute) video shows the pastor, Father Pedro Gonzales, reading a letter of congratulations from Denver’s Bishop James Conley. In the middle of the letter he reads that the construction of the upstairs dormitories will be getting a boost by an anonymous donor’s generous gift of thirty thousand dollars! The community breaks into joyous applause. It’s fun to watch, even if you don’t understand what he is saying. And go to the Photo Gallery to see the inspiring pictures of not only the Center, but of the reinvigorated neighborhood that has sprung up in the vicinity of the new building. A little grace has gone a long, long way.
To our neighbors in Juarez, we love you and rejoice with you! And to all who have been part of this wonderful journey, thank you, thank you, thank you. May every Easter grace be yours as we celebrate this resurrection with our brothers and sisters in Juarez.
The building features a Parish Center which will provide a space for the community to gather for scripture studies, congregate for community events, and support anyone in need. A beautiful rectory has been provided for Fr. Pedro Gonzales, who serves this and four other parishes in Juarez. Dormitories are being built to provide accommodations for retreats. A safe parking structure has been built underneath the Parish Center to provide a place for workers and visitors while visiting the center.
We are close to meeting our goal. The only part that is unfinished is the dormitories for the retreat center. We just need another $25,000 for its completion. Click HERE to see how your donation has made a difference in The St. Jerome Mission.