Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marlita Henseler reflects on Easter Triduum at Kino Border Initiative, Nogales, Mexico.
I hope that each of you celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus in good style, and enjoyed time with family and friends. We had some of the same church customs here in Mexico with a few other different customs ,too.
On Palm Sunday we had the traditional procession inside the church with our blessed palms and I wondered if some persons were braiding them at St. Thomas? I trust that some were doing so. We had a beautiful Holy Thursday Mass here at the shelter complete with the washing of the feet of several representatives of the shelter, (there are now 82 in our shelter), a volunteer and one of the Jesuit employees. A group of 9 possible Jesuit candidates were with us for Holy Week from all over the U.S. I have a few photos to share with you. During the Mass bread was blessed, so after several of the priests shared the bread with all who wished some. Also in the morning a brief washing of the feet service was also done outside before folks came In for their food.
Good Friday brought another morning service on Jesus’s 7 last words. I was not available at the same time so planned to go to the local parish, Cristo Rey, at 12:30, also on the 7 last words. Just as I was ready to step into church, the people started to come out. They had had a procession from one of the chapels and I guess began the service when they all arrived to the main church. Several others came also for the advised time like I did and so were also disappointed. Instead I took the hour and reflected on the Way of the Cross of Bishop Barron. They had the Adoration of the Cross at 6:30 pm , separate from readings, which I did not return for. I noted they did not have a communion service scheduled.
Holy Saturday was my day off on which I enjoyed fixing an empty tomb on the table in our prayer room at the convent for Easter. I even found an angel for outside the tomb. Several of us went to the 8:00pm vigil Mass at the parish, which started as we do , blessing of the fire outside. But we forgot to bring our candles, as they are not provided by the parish. However, a kind gentleman gave me one which is like a mini pascal candle. After all the readings and Gloria Father invited all to bring up their water containers. Each family had 1 gallon or 2 gal. Jugs of water, or bottles of all sizes, big and small, and they were placed on one of the steps heading to the altar. The Padre blessed all the containers and then sprinkled all present. Later the folks picked the bottles up again, and how they kept THEIRS straight, I will never know. There were hundreds. They use the holy water to bless one another in their homes, especially at times of need. There were no baptisms nor Confirmations. They reserve Sundays for all baptisms and only the Bishop confirms here, not the parish priests.
Easter we had Mass in Kino with all in the shelter …which is a big family now. And in between times, the children listened to stories, skipped rope, and played with toys of all sizes and type. Some of the children had colored some eggs Sat. Eve, and they enjoyed them later in the day as well, along with some chocolates, of course. That is not a custom here, but several of the Americans thought it would be a nice activity for them to do. Parents helped supervise, so that helped.
That pretty well takes care of the week. We celebrated well, and enjoyed the special services and Masses in spirit with all of you.May the Risen Lord fill your days with much joy and peace, as we continue to pray for one another. May spring come soon to all who still wait for warmth and blooms, etc. We have beautiful days here now, 82-88,:and are enjoying them before it gets too hot.