Querida familia Rostro,
We hope and pray that you, your families, loved ones, and communities are staying safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty amidst the COVID 19 pandemic. At this time we are holding in our hearts and lifting up in prayer all those individuals and their families who have fallen ill or died due to the virus; and we call on God for the wisdom to discern how to support communities who are most vulnerable and at risk of being further harmed during this pandemic.
This being the season of Lent we are reminded of the journey over two thousand year ago that culminated in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ – the revelation of ultimate love born through a supreme act of vulnerability. Today, as individuals and as a global community, our own vulnerability is being felt at a very deep level. As individuals, families, communities and entire nations take drastic steps such as quarantines and social distancing to protect themselves and to prevent the spread of COVID 19, it can become more difficult to know how we can respond with faith and hope. We are facing unprecedented moments and it requires unprecedented decisions.
What are we doing?
- We have made the difficult decision to bring our Rostro de Cristo volunteers back to the U.S. for a temporary period of time due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We fully intend to have the volunteers return to complete their mission once the situation stabilizes and the restrictions on travel and movement are lifted, mandated quarantines are over, and people can return to more natural and human social interactions. We took this action now to ensure the safety and well-being of the volunteers and staff in Ecuador as this pandemic plays out over the next several weeks or longer, and to keep our mission strong. It is the first time in our thirty-year history we have taken this action and we do not do it lightly. As a result of this decision we are suspending Retreat Groups until further notice.
- All Rostro de Cristo program staff both in Ecuador and in the US are working remotely from our homes. We will be finding alternative ways to support our volunteers during this unusual time back in the US. As you can imagine the impact of our decision was especially difficult for them as their commitment is being interrupted in ways they could have never imagined. We are so very grateful for their understanding and we ask that you keep them in prayer. Our staff is also moving forward with our planning for the 2020-2021 program year.
- Rostro de Cristo Operations Staff in Ecuador continues to provide security to our houses and property at this time. They are a group of caring neighbors we have employed over the years. We are deeply grateful for them and all they do to support and care for our volunteers and retreatants, for they are much more than guards.
- We have called upon our alumni community and are supporting our current volunteers to reach out to our neighbors in Arbolito and Monte Sinai via WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, email and any manner possible to offer them our concern, care and love during this time. While this is not the way we envision our mission being lived out this is what this moment requires of us and we look forward to returning to our homes and communities when the situation allows.
- We are praying for the sick and those who have died. We pray for you, your families, our neighbors, caregivers, health care workers, government officials and all others who are coming together as a global community taking action to stop the spread of COVID 19.
What can you do?
Especially during these challenging times, we are called to turn towards our strengths. One of Rostro’s greatest strengths is our value of community. We want to take this opportunity to invite our community to support each other to ensure that la Familia Rostro and RdC’s mission can weather the significant and yet-to-be-seen impacts of this pandemic.
- We ask you to pray with us, and in particular to pray for our volunteers, ministry partners, and neighbors.
- We ask that you stay connected with us via Facebook, Instagram and website. Learn about our current volunteers and read some of their blogs. We have put together a page on our website that has information that you may find helpful.
- We invite you to read this reflection by our Founder, Fr. Jim Ronan, that is published on his parish website. It offers solace and understanding much needed during these times when people are experiencing fear.
- We ask you to join us with understanding, patience and hope in participating with grace and good cheer in the actions that we are being asked to take to protect each other and others from COVID 19.
- We ask for your generous support at this time. The COVID 19 pandemic has physical, emotional, and spiritual impacts that must be prioritized above all else. But it has also had a financial toll – a loss of retreat group revenues and the added expenses incurred to keep our volunteers and staff safe. Please give generously to help ensure our mission remains strong. This partnership and solidarity is needed now more than ever.
- Donate online HERE
- Checks can be made out to “Rostro de Cristo” and mailed to our office:
- 66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184
- 66 Brooks Drive
We do not know yet what the next month or year will hold for us as a global community. But we have faith that together we will find a way and that the vulnerability we are experiencing now will give way to the hope revealed in the resurrection. Let us always remember that God is with us.
En paz y solidaridad,
Rostro de Cristo