Fall 2023 newsletter
Larry Parr, El Salvador
Greetings from El Salvador.
After 15 years as a Maryknoll lay missioner living with and serving the people of El Salvador, my family and I have just transitioned back to the United States. It has truly been an amazing experience to live out my faith by accompanying communities in El Salvador on their journey to work for the kingdom of God and create a more just and compassionate world.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know the community of Las Delicias and was able to be a part of many different community development projects there. I have seen young people transform into leaders who will continue to work to better their lives and their community.
I have learned so much from the people that I have worked with and come back to the United States with a different perspective of the world. We celebrated the joys of life together and consoled each other in the most difficult times.
In the midst of violence and injustice, I felt the presence of the resurrection in the perseverance, hope and love of the community. They showed me that love, hope and kinship will triumph over violence and death. The community continues to work hard to create more opportunities for the future.
I was humbled by all the support that Salvadoran community showed me. Our scholarship students organized a goodbye party with a piñata of my favorite baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles. It was so great to hear from past and present scholarship students and share in one last celebration with them. They all shared memories of all our good times.
The community also threw a goodbye party for my whole family and had activities for our children. It was a wonderful way to say goodbye and to remember all of our time together. For me, this is what mission is about: sharing life together and working to create a more just and inclusive fraternity that can help to transform the world.
It is very difficult to leave the young people in the community, but I am so impressed by the way they have been organizing and taking leadership so that our projects will continue to serve the youth of the community. They have a true spirit of service and want to be able to help the next generation have opportunities to grow and better their community. I feel truly blessed to have known each one of them, and they have all helped to transform my view of the world.
I would also like to thank all of you who have been a part of my mission journey through prayers and financial support. It would have been impossible to do this without all of your support.
We are all called to be missioners in our own way and work to create a more just and compassionate world for those on the margins. This includes the communities in El Salvador as well as all the communities in the United States that support Maryknoll Lay missioners. Together we can help to build a world full of justice and love.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support you have given to our young people in El Salvador, and I now invite you to continue to support my friends and fellow Maryknoll lay missioners, especially in our El Salvador region.
Please visit the El Salvador section of our Maryknoll Lay Missioners Profiles page at mklm.org/our-people/missioners/#ElSalvador to read about the good work my colleagues continue to do with environmental justice, education, nutrition, youth ministry, community development and parish ministry.
Wherever we find ourselves, may we all continue to live out our mission callings by supporting our brothers and sisters on the margins.
Yours in mission,
Please consider supporting the mission work of my fellow Maryknoll lay missioners in El Salvador with a donation through the link below.
I also invite you to walk with us as a “COMPANION IN MISSION.” Companions in Mission are friends and generous donors who give financial gifts on a regular (usually monthly) basis. For more information, visit Become a Companion in Mission. Thank you so much for your generosity!