Nestled amid the picturesque mountains that straddle the boundary between Belize and Guatemala, a beacon of faith and community shines brightly. The village of San Vincente, located on the edge of the Guatemalan border, might appear to be an unexpected locale to find the enduring spirit of St. Vincent de Paul. Yet, it’s here that a small but vibrant Catholic Church, named in honor of the saint, stands as a symbol of his legacy.
Sept. 27 marked a special occasion for the church, its esteemed feast day. This year, with a touch of innovation, the parish intertwined the annual school Mass with the church’s celebratory feast day, opening its doors wide for the entire village to join. The result was a heartwarming confluence of generations. School children and teachers took the forefront in conducting the Mass, while community members infused energy and devotion into the hymns. The beauty of the community’s diversity was highlighted through a bilingual liturgy, with prayers and songs seamlessly woven in both English and Kek’chi.
Based in Punta Gorda, Sister Higinia Bol, a driving force behind the day’s success, has been instrumental in fostering such unity and faith in the community. Her efforts to bridge traditions and cultures culminated in this day of joy and shared reverence. The spiritual observance gave way to communal delight as attendees relished a delectable spread of caldo and pooch after the Mass. These traditional Mayan dishes shared amongst attendees, young and old, embodied the essence of community unity and the shared jubilation of the day.
As night came upon the lush mountains, San Vincente’s residents continued their celebration, their hearts carrying the day’s stories of faith, love, and togetherness into the evening.