“I want to become a saint basically.”
Sintia, the first Belizean volunteer here at the mission, is the young woman whom I have the pleasure of calling a friend. Graduating from John Paul II Junior College only this past year, she has already moved into the room above me and has dedicated her time to working alongside us. Intrigued by this, I decided to sit down with this friend who doesn’t really enjoy small talk and do just that, chat for a bit.
Earlier this week I boarded a flight with the intention of not returning to the States for a while.
As many of you know, I am creating devotional medals for the canonization efforts of Padre Hermogenes Lopez Coarchita of Guatemala. I have been continually humbled throughout this project as I experience more and more the influence of his lifework. Due to a litany of unforeseen circumstances and perhaps a touch of my habitual procrastination, I had devoted my last two weeks in the States to the casting of pewter. The makeshift studio in my kitchen was prepared with the thirty-three pounds of pewter begging to be fired as I went on a search through town to find the tiniest of engravers. You see, I had to make slight modifications to the lettering in my resin cast before I made the master mold for the pewter.
And here is when the hand of God made itself known.
Recently I had the absolute pleasure of being present with friends that I am rarely able to see and friends I didn’t realize I hadn’t yet met. It will remain a coveted time in my memory as I recall both the mental and physical exploration that transpires when one enters into a new city with new people. There’s something quite remarkable about the origin of friendship and another thing romantic about it waxing in the South. Oh, Atlanta how you have looked kindly upon me.
Recently I found myself walking inside the longest slot canyon in the world. The walls stood as stone waves that narrowed in on one another as they wove towards the sky. Entering into an area rarely seen by others, let alone sunlight, I stood taking in the sheer amazement that my senses were providing me. I couldn’t help but think of an old 1968 Sierra Club magazine that I was perusing that morn. Because my grandmother had cared enough to maintain its near perfect condition, I decided to give it a read.
It is with great joy that I share about a project I have been working. This past week I have been finalizing changes to a medal I am creating to encourage devotion to a Guatemalan martyr, Padre Hermogenes Lopez Coarchita. Creating the original model out of clay, I carefully shift the material with the steadiest of hands in an effort to encapsulate his essence.