Lent 2022 newsletter
Ann Greig, El Salvador
I send warm greetings, hoping that this letter finds you and your loved ones in good health.
First, I would like to share our immense happiness for the beatification of four new Salvadoran martyrs: Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande; Nelson Rutilio Lemus and Manuel Solorzano, who were parishioners working with Fr. Rutilio; and Franciscan Father Cosme Spessotto.
With this beatification, there was justice and recognition of their martyrdom as a result of “hatred of the faith.” This day professed their legacy as martyrs, their witness of faith, and their deep love for the marginalized in El Salvador.
It was a sign of hope in the midst of the current pandemic — as, like many other places in the world, we are still dealing with the rampant spread of Omicron. On January 28, El Salvador had 901 cases, more than we ever had during the pandemic. Hospitals and clinics are saturated with patients, and the academic year has just started.
Eccles 3:1: “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that, which is planted.”
With this letter, I want to inform you all that I will be retiring at the end of 2023 — finishing this part of the journey with the complete satisfaction of having done everything possible to make your solidarity and the love of God present in each place where I had to develop my ministry.
For the entirety of 2022, the Soy Program will continue to function in San Ramón, where it has been for the last 28 years.
I am delighted to tell you that in 2023, the Soy Program will be relocated to Zaragoza, El Salvador, where fellow Maryknoll lay missioners Melissa and Peter Altman, along with their children — Eli, 15 years old; and Evey, 11 years old — have lived since 2016. I am thrilled that the Soy Program will continue to be administered by Maryknoll Lay Missioners and be a food resource for families of limited means, not to mention the many creative ideas that may surface as they expand the program to a different town in El Salvador.
As I transition the Soy Program this year, we will facilitate workshops to train women from the Zaragoza community on using industrial equipment, including the industrial soymilk machine, semi-industrial blender, industrial oven and industrial stove.
There will be explanations to understand how each machine functions and opportunities for workshop participants to prepare recipes and become more familiar with the machines. I will share some transition workshop photos in my following newsletter.
I want to express my desire to collaborate in the transition process and share the countless learnings to facilitate the transfer of the ministry.
In this Lent of 2022, God is inviting us to strengthen our faith and solidarity with those of limited resources. In this way, we can together build a more just world.
I am grateful to all of you for your support for my ministry and my sustenance in mission. Let us connect in prayer on our Lenten journey.
Please consider making a special Lenten gift to Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ “Walk With Us” campaign, which raises money for the recruitment, training and ongoing support of all of us lay missioners. We can only “walk with” the people here because you are “walking with” us. Thanks to matching gifts, every $100 given to the campaign in effect becomes $150. To donate ONLINE, click the “Walk With Us” button below. Thank you so much for your generosity!