• March 23, 2015

The Strength of a Mother’s Prayer:
a mission trip to El Salvador

Tim and Rodolfo playing with some of the kids who live by the abandoned railroad tracks not far from the Heart’s Home

by Tim Hynes

Tim is a former Heart’s Home mis­sionary in Peru and a member of the Fraternity of Maximilian Koble. He is cur­rently studying as a sem­i­narian for the Archdiocese of Boston and, by the grace of God, hopes to be ordained a priest in the spring of 2019.

“This past spring break, I was given the oppor­tu­nity to visit El Salvador as part of a mis­sion trip that was being planned by a group of sem­i­nar­ians from St. John’s in Boston. Of course, I jumped at the chance because it meant that I would also be able to spend some time vis­iting the Heart’s Home in San Salvador as well as the sis­ters in San Pedro Perulapan just out­side the city. Because of some unfore­seen cir­cum­stances, the two days I had planned on spending with the mis­sion­aries and the sis­ters down there turned into almost five full days. Needless to say, I was more than grateful for this blessing.

Throughout my trip, but espe­cially during my time vis­iting with Heart’s Home, I was able to see very con­cretely the graces that God places in each of our lives as I heard the sto­ries of those I met. Of those that par­tic­u­larly struck me was a visit with one of the mis­sion­aries and some neigh­bor­hood friends. There, I met Armand and his wife Vilma, who told us about his con­ver­sion expe­ri­ence at the age of 45. He explained to us that shortly before his con­ver­sion, he had had a con­ver­sa­tion with his mother in which he told her that he didn’t know how to pray. She encour­aged him to try any­ways. She also encour­aged him to use his God-given gift of public speaking to the ben­efit of the Church. He said he didn’t know any­thing about the­ology. She replied God would provide. One day, while he was passing the church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, he decided to make the attempt, asking our Blessed Mother to help him. He asked for safety during his day’s work as a truck driver; for his chil­dren and his family; and finally, for the grace to be able to pray. Suddenly, he real­ized that he had already started praying! That weekend, at the end of a Sunday Mass, he was invited to a retreat during which he expe­ri­enced an authentic encounter with Our Lord. It was there that the Lord planted within him a greater desire to serve him through his words. However, Armand still felt that he lacked the nec­es­sary knowl­edge to preach of the Lord’s good­ness. Yet once again the Lord pro­vided as he was encour­aged by a friend to apply for a schol­ar­ship at a local the­o­log­ical insti­tute. Almost imme­di­ately, he was accepted into a two year pro­gram for free! From there, his rela­tion­ship with Christ grew each day. Eventually he was led to become a eucharistic min­ister at his parish, sharing the Word Incarnate with the sick and home­bound.

Shortly after Armand fin­ished his story, we thanked him and headed back to the Heart’s Home for evening prayer. As we walked, I mused over the strength of a mother’s prayers and thought of Our Lady, who is always standing at our side silently waiting for us to ask her for the graces to bring us closer to her Son. Like Armand’s mother, she desires so much that we grow to our full stature in Christ, putting our whole person at His ser­vice. I thought of St. John at the Cross and how Christ gave her to us as mother and we to her as sons and daugh­ters. May we never forget that she is always there, and always our mother!”

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