“One of God’s greatest gifts is the universal character of the Church, blessing and calling us to live in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in faith…The international commitment of the Church in the United States is not all it can and should be. Our parishes often act as islands of local religious activity rather than as parts of the mystical body of Christ. At the parish level, where the Church lives, we need to integrate more fully the international dimensions of Catholic discipleship within a truly universal Church…A suffering world must find a place in the pastoral priorities of every Catholic parish.”
~Taken from “Called to Global Solidarity-International Challenges for US Parishes” written by the USCCB (to read the entire document, click here
The Diocese of Cleveland has had a special relationship with the Church in El Salvador for over 50 years. As a result, Cleveland has sent many priests and nuns to various cities to share the Catholic faith with the poorest of the poor. One of those places is Chiltiupan in the province of La Libertad. A group of parishioners from St. John Neumann has been journeying there once a year for about a week since 2010, usually around the third week of January. The nature of the trip is to build and continue relationships of solidarity between the parish and school of Santo Domingo and the parish of St. John Neumann. A visit to the sacred religious sites is usually planned, including to the site where the four churchwomen were martyred, the University of Central America where the seven Jesuits and two women were martyred, as well as the various sites of Oscar Romero, such as his home, the chapel where he was martyred, and the basilica in San Salvador where his tomb is located. Each trip often includes some sort of service work, like painting, light construction, or distributing supplies.
The needs of the Chiltiupan community are often met through our “Fish Fry for the Needy” during Lent, which over the years has enabled our parish to purchase an ultrasound machine, supply roofs for homes and education equipment for the school, and help develop their irrigation system.
If interested in this being involved in any capacity with this ministry, from helping to plan activities to going on a future trip, contact Perry Starcovic at 440-878-1117, or call the parish at 440-238-1770. Please pray for the people of Chiltiupan and for God’s blessings on our special partnership. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide our efforts to be Christ’s hands, heart, and voice for those most in need.