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Interview with Pedro Azcárate: A Lay missionary in Honduras for the Past Eighteen Years

by | Mar 1, 2021 | News | 1 comment

Pedro Azcárcate, a lay Spanish missionary, arrived in Honduras in order to serve there for two years. He has now served in the Diocese of San Pedro Saul for eighteen years and he states:  I believe that missionaries must be available to go where they are sent or where they are most needed.

Know something about his story

What was you life like before becoming a missionary?

My life was like that of the majority of the young men and women in my city. As a child, I went to elementary and high school. I attended the university and worked at the same time. I was able to buy a car and later a house. I thought about marrying and having a family … all of these things which are quite normal.

How did you become a lay missionary?

I was a catechist and even though my life was like that of most young men, I felt that something was missing. Each time that I prayed the Our Father, and said the word “our”, I thought about the many differences among people, the poverty and inequality. I felt called to collaborate with other people who might not have the same opportunities that I had. I felt called to help them see and understand that God also loves them and that together we have to struggle in order to make life better for everyone. I did not feel that I was called to the priesthood. I entered into a process of reflection and discernment and was accompanied by a priest from the Congregation of the Mission. I felt called to go to another country where there were more needs and to give my time to people who were excluded and in need.

When did you arrive in Honduras and what did you find there?

I arrived in Honduras in January 2001. The Congregation of the Mission had a mission in Puerto Cortés and it was suggested that I serve there for two years. I now have served here for eighteen years. Yes, I have had doubts about my vocation but something wonderful has happened … I met my wife here. We have been married for fifteen years and have two children. The truth is, I did not choose to come here to Honduras, it was God who sent me here. The Vincentian priests with whom I worked are in the Province of Zaragoza (Spain) and their only mission is here in Honduras … and so no other possibility was offered. My children are growing and we have considered the possibility of returning to Spain in the future so that they can continue their studies.

What has been your work in Honduras?

The mission of the Vincentian priests and brothers in Honduras has always been one of joining together the spiritual and social dimensions of evangelization. Here the members of the Congregation administer a school for students between the ages of 5-18, two medical clinics, a home for the elderly, a home for street children, a technical center for professional training and a scholarship program that provides young men and women with resources that enable them to conclude their study. I am responsible for administering the funds that came from Spain in order to finance the various social works of the Congregation. I do this in collaboration with the pastor who is ultimately responsible for this matter

And your pastoral ministry?

I am a member of the formation team of the animators of the ecclesial communities. We provide monthly formation to the animators of the various parish sectors. We deal with multiple themes that the animators will in turn discuss with the people in their sector. We also offer retreats to these persons and there are some special formation sessions. There are about 160 base communities in the parish. I am also a member of the Parish Council and we adapt the objectives of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan to the reality of the parish.

Source: Webpage of the Catholic Church in San Pedro Sula.

Tags: Honduras

1 Comment

  1. Sister Therese Bangert

    Thank YOU for sharing your story, Pedro. 160 Base Communities is more than impressive.
    Honduras is a country which seems to have much suffering. . . though you have experienced the much more of Honduras. PEACE be with YOU!

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