For family and friends following him on Facebook, Jesuit Father Joseph Laramie has been posting weekly narrative and photo updates about his Belizian experience. These reflections vary widely, from on mud-stuck trucks, inconsiderate roosters and people seemingly from another time.
Fr. Laramie, a St. Louis-area native, was ordained last June and finished his Jesuit theology classes at Boston College in January.
A month later, he began what will be a four-month pastoral assignment in Belize helping the Missouri Province Jesuits staff St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda and providing sacraments to the 40-plus Mayan villages in the surrounding area, most of which have a Catholic chapel.
Punta Gorda’s 5,000 diverse residents include Garufina, people of African and Caribbean descent; Mopan- and Kekchi-speaking Mayans; and Mestizo, people with a mix of Spanish and Mayan ancestry.
Fr. Laramie’s work is mostly sacramental; Mass at St. Peter Claver Parish, Masses for school kids in Punta Gorda and villages, and Sunday Masses in Mayan villages, where his homily is usually translated into Kekchi by a Mayan leader at the villages. Songs and readings also are in Kekchi.
Next stop on his Jesuit journey is Kansas City, Mo.’s Rockhurst High School, where he’ll serve as director of pastoral ministry starting June 1.
But until then, readers can follow a Jesuit in Belize whose dispatches and reflections illuminate, educate and entertain.
Check out his Facebook page to read more about Fr. Laramie’s work.