By Matthew D. Ruhl, SJ
Wednesday/January 24, 2018/Belize City, Belize
Christmas mail arrived a little bit soggy this year. I made some inquiries and discovered the Post Office has a leak. And it has been raining. Wet or not, the holiday greetings were much appreciated.
BELIZE 2020 held a Winter Retreat last week in Belize City. The purpose being the deepening of relationships between those colleagues of the US and Belize as well as planning for the future of Jesuit works in Belize. Over 90 persons attended, about 45 Belizeans and about 45 Internationals. Several St. Louis University Deans were present, for which all were very grateful. There was a great deal of work done on this retreat, but there was also very pleasant socializing as many enjoyed their first Belikin Beer along with warm Belizean hospitality. We closed the Retreat with a big Mass in Swift Hall, many seeing the facility for the first time and were duly impressed. God bless all the many, many people who made this Retreat such a great success. Summit at SLU this summer?!?!
Now, since many of you who read this could conceivably get a phone call from me, please know that our area code in Belize is “501.” But, on your US phone the call registers as originating from Arkansas, where the area code is also “501”. I have had many phone calls ignored because family and friends thought it was a telemarketer or Bill Clinton calling them. It’s not. So if you see a call coming in from Arkansas, please answer. It’s me. And I might need some bail money!
Our Sunday Mass crowd continues to increase, thank heavens. However, we do not have the pew space for our crowd, which in many instances is now flowing out the door, even after extra chairs have been set up. So, I am needing to have more pews made, along with benches along the walls. The only real remedy, however, will ultimately be a larger church, which was much needed even before our congregations started swelling.