Managua & Diriamba, Nicaragua
I’m beginning this posting before Holy Week and will finish it after Easter. Kari and I are going to Diriamba, a town south and with more elevation than Managua. The principle reasons for doing this are to have some space and time for retreat and to participate in the religious expression of the Nicaraguan folks as they celebrate the last three days of Lent. A lesser reason is get out of Managua and to have a cooler ambiance in which to relax. Hopefully, I will have some photos to accompany this blog that will give you an idea of Diriamba and the religious services.
Holy Week in Nicaragua is a ‘vacation week’. I suspect that at one time it was a way of freeing up the working folks so they could participate in the various religious ceremonies…just as in the States when we had Good Friday ‘off’ or at least from noon until 3:00pm. Here, there is no school and although Thursday and Friday are ‘free days’, many people take the whole week and travel to the beach or to be with relatives. Unfortunately, it’s a time of sorrow due to the many traffic accidents and drownings.
April 25, 2011
Well, I just returned from a delightful three days in a very welcoming pueblo and a stay with the Sisters of the Assumption at their retreat center. Kari and I experienced Holy Thursday with the San Sebastian Community which is the largest of the local churches. We returned there Friday evening in time for the traditional procession with the statue of the crucified Jesus in a coffin carried by various teams of men. see photos) This was preceded by the statue of St. John the Apostle and followed by the statue of the Sorrowful Mother. As you can see in the photo, it was quite a gathering of folks together with some young fellows portraying the centurions and little girls as angels. The devotion of the people is remarkable and the keeping of traditions is very important.
We experienced Good Friday in the parish church of San Caralampio. I had no idea about this fellow and had a dickens of a time even pronouncing his name! This is a smaller church and a very devout congregation. Saturday evening we stayed on the grounds of the retreat house and celebrated with the Sisters of the Assumption as we did also on Sunday morning.
All in all it was a very wonderful way to live the Triduum and Easter (La Pascua). The grounds are extensive and have tons of trees of many varieties and fruits and plants and flowers in abundance.
And now I’m off to Louisiana (Baton Rouge and New Orleans) for our annual Assembly and Mission Circle gathering which includes folks from California, New Mexico, Kansas and we Nicaraguans. I’ll only be gone for eight days but it will be a full and enjoyable time.
Thanks for staying connected and interested in this venture. If Oscar A. reads this new posting…please comment and send your e-mail address. I cannot respond to comments. They do not contain an address of the sender. I would like to be in contact with you.
Easter Season Blessings and Gratitude,