We give infinite thanks to God for being able to experience His goodness and eternal mercy in the “Misión Santa María.” After so many years of hardship and efforts, the dreams of having our own pastoral center and parish are becoming a reality.

Since 1996 we have been working with Msgr. Frank Depman in the “Misión Santa María,” a special archdiocesan pastoral outreach to the Hispanic faithful in the rural Avondale/Kennett Square region of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

On August 16, the Feast of St. Rocco, the newly completed pastoral center was blessed and inaugurated as the ‘Centro San Roque.’  We began with an Open House at 5:00 pm and then proceeded with the blessing by His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali. Many members of our community were present as well as so many family and friends that it would be difficult to name each one.  Among those that we must not forget to mention are: our great benefactor Mr. Rocco Abisinio with his family and Sr. Raquel who helped Msgr. Frank Depman from the beginning of this special ministry nearly twenty years ago.

Following the blessing of the Center, we went in procession to the field where the new church of St. Rocco will be built. There Cardinal Rigali blessed the plot of land and then shared in the Ground-breaking Ceremony. At the end of the ceremony the children started their own ceremony of ‘breaking the ground’ with so many tiny shovels and hard-hats! We hope that a year from now we will be blessing the new Church of St. Rocco.  Since we must celebrate in thanksgiving for so many heavenly blessings, afterwards we all enjoyed a reception of traditional Mexican dishes and festive music.

Sometimes it is impossible to transmit on paper the spiritual feelings that an event like this produces in the souls of so many people who desired this to become a reality; some expressed their feelings with tears of joys, others with smile, others exclaiming, “Viva!”  We ask for your prayers for this new Center and Parish of St. Rocco, that it will be a “Beacon of Light,” the Light of Christ that will illumine each one of the souls entrusted to its care. —Sisters of the Convent “Our Lady of Guadalupe