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Basilian Leadership Inspires Community Renewal

April 12, 2023

Father José Alberto blessing a parishioner.

Witnessing the Basilians’ commitment to restore chapels in a low-income area in Mexico City inspired the local community to join in the reconstruction efforts. Mexico City is the largest urban centre in North America with the majority of the population identifying as Catholic. The Church is hard-pressed to serve all sectors of this population. Recently, Father Beto Rojas, CSB and the local Basilian community were entrusted to serve at rectorías, or chapels, in Mexico City that had been neglected due to a lack of funds and available clergy. The Mass schedule was irregular and there were no offices or sanitary facilities.

Members of the local community helped with the restoration efforts of the rectorías.

Members of the local community helped with the restoration efforts of the rectorías.

When people in the neighborhoods saw that the Basilians were committed to serve the rectorías and their communities, they immediately offered to help with the cleanup and restoration.

After photos when the repairs of the rectorías have been completed.

The rebuilding efforts were both physical and spiritual. Father Rojas has plenty of experience motivating parishioners and eliciting cooperation and participation. He served as pastor of Parroquia de San Lorenzo in Tehuacán, Puebla for a number of years and understands that parishioners need to be included in decision-making.

As the chapels were being restored, he organized a series of meetings with local families to discuss the issues facing the community. Father Rojas is assisted by Father José Alberto Juárez Sandoval, CSB along with Basilian scholastics: Alejandro García Cárdenas, CSB, César Enrique Hernández Aguilar, CSB, Juan José Ortiz Torres, CSB, José de Jesús Rodriguez Pérez, CSB, Lauro Sánchez Sánchez, CSB, and Juan Ángel Vivas García, CSB.

As educators, it was essential to the Basilians that the ministries include outreach to children and young people. The children’s programs provide fun activities that proclaim the Gospel message, and the children are eager to return.

During Holy Week, the parish community takes Good Friday celebrations outside to the streets surrounding the rectorías. People from the neighborhood are drawn into the festivities, and this outreach brings people who are not regular church goers into the chapels.

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