The following is a summary of the San Ramon Parish, sister church to Cathedral:
San Ramon, Nicaragua is a little town about a 2.5 hour drive Northeast of Managua. The people of San Ramon are very poor. The country suffers the general economic disparity similar to so many Latin American countries and the area struggles to repeat the growth it had prior to Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Most homes do not have running water and most children do not go to school. In the mountain communities surrounding San Ramon, conditions are more desperate. However, the miracle of God's grace is shown in the strong faith and rich spirit of the people.
Parroquia de San Ramon, Parish of San Ramon, is in the Diocese of Matagalpa. Father Francisco Tercero Gomez is the pastor of the church and its 35 chapels which are located throughout the surrounding countryside. His ministry serves about 40,000 people.
To serve the 35 mountain chapels, Father Tercero must travel up very underdeveloped roads, and to access some, must take a donkey or horse for portions of the journey, carefully carrying statues of their patron saint, or other statues, as their culture embraces festivals around the saints.
The parish is divided into 6 zones, or communities. Each zone has two coordinators who take charge of daily and weekly religious needs of the people. Father Tercero gives retreats and workshops to the coordinators and meets with them every month to schedule visits and activities for the communities.
The Cathedral-San Ramon Ministry Team's primary mission is to support the Parish of San Ramon in its evangelical works, as the parish is not self-sustaining. Some recent projects were to help feed people that made a pilgrimage to San Ramon from the surrounding areas, celebration for the preschool graduates, appliances for the rectory and preschool, and restoration of the 150 year old church. Opportunities also present themselves in other areas such as distribution of medicine or aid to handicapped children.
Preschool is a requirement to enter public school, which starts at what we would call first grade. The school year is from February to November, and is out during the coffee harvest. Many families leave the local area at this time.
The Cathedral School Home-School Association is the primary financial source of the San Ramon Parish preschool, which was named after Cathedral School by the previous pastor and founder, Father William Malespin. Most of the support goes toward teacher's salaries and a good meal each day for every child. The school serves two age groups, with 35 to 50 students total. The children in the mountain communities do not have this opportunity.
The parishioners of Sacred Heart Cathedral are very generous in support of San Ramon Parish, and the Cathedral School support is a blessing for the children in Nicaragua, and a blessing for us as we see our children embrace their brothers and sisters in this far away place.
Financial, as well as spiritual, support is always welcome. General donations can be made directly to the parish office. Donors can also specify the preschool or other areas of interest.
The ministry team meetings are the third Sunday of the month in the parish office at 3:45. At any time, I am available for more information.
On behalf of the Cathedral-San Ramon Ministry Team, thank you.
919 539 8968