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Our parish mourns the loss of a young husband and father this past week. John McGuinness, husband of Janele Kampas and father of Leo, George and Teddy, died suddenly last Friday. John was active in a our parish Bulldog Association and his family faithfully attends Sunday mass each week. The boys are enrolled in PSR and attend Shaker schools. Please pray for John’s beautiful family during this extremely hard time. John blessed our community in so many ways. We cry with Janele and her family, and pray that she knows our love and God’s peace.
The fourteen parishioners who joined me in El Salvador each have a story to share, but I know all agree that the experience of sharing life and faith with the people of Santo Domingo was a graced moment in their lives. We had the joy of watching thirty-eight young people graduate from high school. We visited the parish farm and listened to farmers share their life stories. We visited various canton schools and celebrated a wonderful lunch with the women of the parish. On Saturday night, we joined thousands of people in a candlelight procession on the campus of the Jesuit University of Central America as we remembered the six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter, who were martyred for their faith twenty-five years ago. Joining in solidarity with people from all over the world, we were reminded of all the blessings that God has given to us. As we got ready to leave Santo Domingo on our final day, a farmer approached me and said, “Padre Tomas, St. Dominic Church is like a light for our community. Things we never thought were possible are made possible because of your church. So many people have hope now because of what your church does for us. God will bless you for that.” I am grateful to be part of such a generous community which never forgets about the poor.
On behalf the parish staff, I pray that all of you have a blessed Thanksgiving and that you remember this man’s words at your Thanksgiving dinner and continue to reach out to those in need. We have so much to be grateful for. Please join us on Thanksgiving Day for mass at 9am as we give thanks for all that God has done for us!