This time last year, I visited the Holy Land, where I had the occasion to visit and experience the many
places Jesus himself lived in during his life.
This year, visiting Guatemala I had the beautiful occasion to experience Jesus’s words lived through
actions. Many instances and places that characterized this visit, instantly brought to mind phrases from
the bible itself. How cannot I remember psalm 118:26 “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord…” when
witnessing a whole community awaiting to cheer with palms Fr Anton, on his arrival by boat to their
It was inevitable to think about Jesus’s command to his disciples in Luke 9:3 when asking them to
proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for the journey, no staff, no bag, no
bread, no money, no second tunic.” When one morning I was walking just behind Dun Anton on his
way to visit another village accessible only on foot, these words were more than evident.
On another particular occasion in a remote village, Dun Anton asked us to accompany him to visit and
pray over the sick. There I could hear Jesus telling his disciples “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for
one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).
Here one can fully understand and live the beatitudes!
Dun Anton’s mission in Guatemala is truly the incarnation of Christ’s message.
It is still clear in my mind one particular instance when during a trip from a particular village. A question
asked by a couple of our youths while visiting one of Dun Anton’s villages, still resounds in my ear.
They asked him how he manages to survive. Holding the steering wheel of his pickup truck, with a sharp look
at the mirror to reach the eyes of this couple sitting on the rear seat, he answered “it is the love for
Christ which keeps me here, here I have the opportunity to see Christ every single moment of the day.”
This 3 week experience began almost a year ago. The youth group which I am privileged to assist as a
catechist, planned a program of activities to raise funds in aid of Dun Anton’s mission. More than €15K
This also helped the group to build itself into a team and a community.
Now looking back we really feel fulfilled, as this experience made us aware not only of the needs of others but also of each other’s needs.
A word of thanks goes to Fr. Charles, the parish priest of our community who came up with the idea and
who led the group. Secondly a big thanks goes to all the youths themselves who really showed a great
sense of maturity and true faith.
We are earnestly grateful to the community of Izabal and all the villages which Dun Anton is responsible
for. They made us feel at home from the very first moment. They are a living testimony of a true church
and Christian community.
Dun Anton we don’t have enough words to thank you not only for hosting us but also for your unique
example of priesthood, of a missionary, of a catholic believer and above all of a true follower of Christ.
You made us experience that Christ lives amongst us in every moment and circumstance of our lives: in
the sick, in the poor and those who are set aside. In you we can see the true meaning of Mother
Teresa’s words …. “give until it hurts”. Thank you Lord for such an enriching experience.