Today’s guest post is written by Fr. Peter Precourt, A.A. He is currently living in El Paso, Texas, the site of our newest foundation in the United States.
New Mission in El Paso, Texas
We recently committed ourselves to a new apostolic project at St. Francis Xavier Parish in El Paso, TX. Our efforts at the parish will be focused on meeting the spiritual and material needs of migrants. Our presence along the U.S./Mexico border will allow us to carry out this work that is at the heart of our Assumptionist charism “to go wherever God is threatened in man and man threatened as the image of God.”
Letter from the Desert
I am no longer a hermit. Fr. Ron has arrived to be with me. He appeared on July 23 and went into a separate building until results came back from his COVID-19 tests. After almost two weeks, he was able to move in with me in the casita at the diocesan center. We have already set our schedule for the community. We have morning and evening prayer together and celebrate televised Mass, Monday through Friday, with the Bishop. We celebrate Mass in the casita on the weekend. When it comes to cooking, Fr. Ron does the majority of the meals. A welcome relief from my cooking over these last months. It is certainly a major shift in my diet as I am now getting accustomed again to Filipino style food. Fr. Ron is making good use of his farewell present from Emmanuel House Community. That rice cooker is never going to gather dust. As you may know, we will be moving in September to St. Francis Xavier Parish to begin our ministry in El Paso.
The weather has been a real challenge. We have had 46 days with 100+ degrees so far this year. It is a heat that lingers into the evening. Sometimes in the late evening, it can still be 100 degrees. Hopefully, over time, we will both adapt to it. We are aware of how dependent we are on air conditioning after losing electricity for 2 hours. It took very little time for this little house to warm up. As I look at the trees, shrubs, and little patches of grass, it is a wonder they can survive with the little amount of water they receive through irrigation. Everything here in this desert needs water, including us. It is so easy to dehydrate in this very dry environment. Humidity is generally around 20%. Today, as I write this, it will be 105° with 19% humidity. At sundown, it is not unusual to see dust devils arise in the dusty dry fields.
We do have several animals on the property of the diocesan center. We have a large group of cats that are always seeking food. There is one cat in particular who has become known as our “beggar.”
He comes twice a day, every day!!
We also get to see an occasional jackrabbit. They are the size of a small dog. We have found that a family of foxes have made a home on the property.
Finally I want to share some more of the incredible sunsets here in El Paso.