. . . empowered by examples from the past
Pictured above is Brother Mick Joyce, OFM Cap., visiting COAR on June 9th. Karla gave him a card on behalf of all the children and staff memorializing Brother Saul Soriano, OFM Cap., our dear friend, taken too soon, May 7, 2018, read our tribute to him here: https://coarpeacemission.org/the-loss-of-a-cherished-friend-saul-soriano-ofm-cap/
Brother Mick made his first visit to El Salvador this June. On his Facebook page he writes, “Our pilgrimage across Central America to the sacred sites of the saints and martyrs came to a ‘soft close’ outside San Salvador International Airport. After nine days of intense travel and profound encounters with the lives of those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and martyrdom . . . [we] returned to Cleveland renewed in spirit. Thank you Lord for this grace filled experience and for the sacred privilege of meeting so many wonderful people along the pilgrim way.” See his entire journey here:
Among those people along this pilgrimage were the COAR children. One reason for Br. Mick’s visit to COAR was to deliver sponsorship letters, (disrupted during this past pandemic year-thanks!) But there was another reason.
Brother Mick’s province of the Capuchins, the Capuchin Province of St. Augustine, Pittsburgh, PA, houses its undergraduate postulant formation program along with the Diocese of Cleveland’s Borromeo seminary, in the same building where the COAR office is located. One of those postulants was Saul Soriano. He was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the US when he was a teenager where he found his vocation to the Capuchins. He introduced himself to our COAR office staff in 2010. For the next several years Saul helped COAR in many ways. He accompanied visitors to COAR, teaching them about El Salvador and the true solidarity of his love for his birthplace, El Salvador, his adopted home, the US, and the overarching fabric of the Church and his vocation with the Capuchins to serve, especially the most vulnerable.
Most treasured by us were his days and weeks of his summer vacations that he spent among the COAR children. He designed prayer services, days of reflection, and simply made the time to listen to them. His words, from a young Salvadoran man with broad experience and the strength of his commitment, carried special weight with the children. They have never forgotten his wisdom, optimism, and gentleness.
It was a joy to be able to share this remembrance card with Bro. Mick, made by the COAR children and staff. All the acts of service and sacrifice for the COAR children go on, long after we have passed on, and bear fruit in ways we can only imagine – and have faith. Thank you, Br. Saul, Br. Mick, and all of you.