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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Revealing Divine Mercy in Belize City

Divine Mercy Parish, Belize City, Central America
Fr Jeff Eppler, SOLT, the parish priest (pictured right) and Fr Dennis Dugan, SOLT, assistant priest (left), are laboring to make their parish in Belize City, Central America, a sign of Divine Mercy to the good people of God.  Besides the everyday run of parish activities of the Sacraments and engaging in the new evangelization, they are immersed in an outreach to a city that is in desperate need of the Gospel.

"Belize City is perhaps the per capita murder capital of the world," said John Marhevka, a SOLT layman who works next to the parish in the media apostolate.  It was, as many cultures would say nowadays, fundamentally formerly Christian, but a lifestyle of crime, greed, lust, and self-centered gratification has taken hold on many.  An environment of faith and family values is quickly disintegrating.  Yet despite these challenges the seeds of faith are still planted.

They have started teaching Blessed Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body to newly formed men's group, serving the mission area locally referred to as the "bush" in the jungle outside of the city, giving teachings of discipleship to 40 kids in the youth group, and continuing faith formation for adults of the area.

They are also reaching out to a few local schools and prisons, Spanish-speaking migrants from other parts of Central America that have settled there, and in their spare time working with troubled adults in a ministry of deeper healing.