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Friar Jaime's Summer Experience in Carey, Ohio

I am very thankful for the opportunity to come and do my summer ministry in the Village of Carey, Ohio. Before coming I did not realize how much work the friars do in Carey, now I see how this ministry takes a lot of TLC (tender love and care) because there is so many different entities and the pilgrims come year-round. I decided that on this summer ministry I was going to try and say yes to any opportunity of service, friendship, or anything that the Holy Spirit was prompting me to do and I have not been disappointed in the variety of opportunities that the Lord has provided for me. I really wanted to get to know the parishioners who lend the pilgrims there parish not only in August but all year round. I have spent quality time with the friars in this community and each one of them have accepted me and has passed on some kind of inheritance to me, by inheritance I mean a quality that I can use along my journey as a Conventual Franciscan Friar. The opportunities that I have had from being a person who says yes have been wide ranged from farming to being a pilgrim myself. The farming has been amazing, I have been taken in by families that have allowed me to see the happiness and struggles of a farmer, and the responsibilities that they pass on to their children. I did not think that coming to Ohio I would get the opportunity to participate with a mass for the immigrants, but I did, and it was beautiful to sit and talk with the people from Mexico and Guatemala. I was able to make a connection from my last summer ministry which I was given the opportunity to visit the friars in Central America to this one in Carey, Ohio and the connection was hospitality. To work alongside of different kinds of farmers and friars. One aspect that I will continue to reflect on is that in the past, missionaries had to leave the United States to take the mission to the people in different countries and now in 2018, I must be ready because the mission is in my own front yard and the mission that I feel I am being called to is a mission of hospitality and affirmation. Once again I am very thankful for the opportunities that the friars have given me because it has helped me to realize my gift and potentials. I have enjoyed my pilgrimage to Our Lady of Consolation Shrine and the opportunity to be a part of a tradition that has been going on for over a hundred years. Friar Jaime Zaragoza is in his second year of vows studying at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

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