Santa Rosa Moruca,Guyanachurch.inside.jpg

Mother Mary Joy of Martyrs writes to us an account of the event:

“June 24th, Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, marked 195 years since the first Catholics from Venezuela arrived to Mariaba, a village in the Northwest Region of Guyana, present day Santa Rosa. Each year, the Catholic Church in Santa Rosa commemorates this event with a novena of different celebrations including early morning Adoration and Holy Mass as well as soccer tournaments and canoe races.  The SSVM Sisters and Priests of the Incarnate Word from our mission in Charity as well as the Priest and novices of the John Paul the Great Novitiate in Hague and Fr. Gustavo Nieto, Provincial Superior of the IVE all travelled to Moruca for this great event. ”

“On the Vigil of St. John there was a re-enactment of the arrival of the first priest to Moruca, Fr. William Hynes who arrived in 1823 after having travelled through Georgetown from canoe 1.jpgTrinidad until he finally reached the Moruca River. He came to the village in response to the Spanish Arawaks’ plea for a priest to minister to their spiritual needs.  Bishop Francis Alleyne together with Fr. Nieto , an IVE novice and a parishioner travelled in a corial, a canoe carved out of a tree, from Aquero to the Santa Rosa landing.  The priests were accompanied by other boats and canoes with the praying of the Rosary and singing of hymns. There they were met at the landing by many parishioners and the sounds of bamboo guns and flambeaux lamps which lit the path to the Church at the top of the hill.  A parishioner greeted the priests on behalf of the community expressing the desire that they had for so long to receive the Sacraments.  Holy Mass was celebrated by Bishop Alleyne and Priests of the Incarnate Word, and the night concluded with a cultural show. ”

“The following day had at its center the celebration of the Holy Mass together with the blessing of the newly reconstructed Church. The reconstruction church.outside.jpgwas a work that began 7 years ago and included the generous help of parishioners as well as Guyanese living outside of the country and several foundations which helped support the project. For this occasion, Catholic members from many of the communities in the region came, as well as members of the Catholic Community from the Pomeroon River/Essequibo Coast, and Georgetown.  The day was marked by a supernatural joy and Christian family spirit.  It was a moment in which many of our Catholics were able to see in a real way the universality of our Church, being gathered together with such a large number of people at the Holy Mass from all of the smaller communities.”
“We give thanks to God for the anniversary of the Catholic faith in Santa Rosa and the reconstruction of the Church, which should serve as a moment to strengthen the faith and the commitment of the living members of the Church. We entrust this community and our missions in Guyana to the intercession of St. Rose of Lima and pray for their perseverance in the true faith.”