Saturday, May 1, 2010

The feast of St. Joseph the Worker

The first of May, Inter-national Workers' Day, is a holiday here as it is in most countries, though not in the United States, where we continue to insist on celebrating Labor Day in September. The Catholic Church long ago put its stamp on May 1st by designating it as the feast of St. Joseph the Worker - and so it's a feast for my Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace (CSJP).

May Day is always celebrated with a giant parade in San Salvador, but we had a small and special celebration in Suchitoto today - Estela Garcia and her daughter Susy Solis Garcia came for lunch, their first time to visit this house. Estela has been a friend of the CSJPs for more than 20 years, since the happy day when she came to work at El Despertar, the Jesuit Refugee center where Sisters Eleanor Gilmore and Margaret Byrne were helping people from the country get medical care. My sense, from hearing Eleanor tell the story, is that they were overstretched and desperately needed help to keep the house clean and the meals prepared. They asked at the local parish, and along came Estela - and soon everything was in beautiful order.

Susy was a little girl then: now she's an accomplished young woman, working at a preschool and leading catechetics in her local parish while she finishes her degree. We talked and told stories and ate pasta and enjoyed the leisure of the day. Margaret Jane kindly took a photo of this happy feast day.

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