St. Denis, Versailles, and Puerto Escondido, Oaxcaca, Mexico:

From Jane Pierron: We share with one another, but most importantly, we share faith.  We have begun an
afternoon of prayer and reflection into our visits.  Although all don’tspeak the same language, it is still a beautiful exchange of thoughts on the Scriptures chosen and how those scriptures take on meaning in our lives. Issues of mutual concern surface, such as the treatment of immigrants inboth countries.  They have their share of immigrants passing through on their way to the United States and they express some of the same concerns we face at our border and in our communities.  We become one in our diversity in Christ.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Anderson Township, and Cultural Center of Batahola Norte, Managua, Nicaragua

From Sonia Olivares, twinning coordinator, and Sue Keefe: For 20 years we have been praying for each other and strengthening our faith in Christ.  We have accompanied each other children, teenagers, and adults of all ages while we continue the legacy of Sr. Margie Navarro and Fr. Angel Torrellas.  IHM and CCBN both believe that loving our neighbor is loving God. IHM has gained so much through global solidarity. We are mourning the death of a family member from coronavirus because we lunched at his home on our last visit.  We applauded CCBN for passing out much needed food items to their staff last week.  We have student profiles on our refrigerators of high school students who are continuing their education through IHM sponsorships.  Our parish office has a magnificent mural painted by an artist from CCBN. Our confirmandi each year receive hand painted crosses from the Batahola Norte artists. Our lives are linked.  Mission is alive.

St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Liberty Township, and St. Patrick Church, Madera Sorotti, Uganda

From Dan Suer, Twinning Leader: Our twinning partnership in Uganda began in late 2018 when St. Max parishioners responded to the need for simple student dorms at Holy Angels School in Soroti. Father Simon Peter, originally from Uganda, has been the Parochial Vicar at St. Max and has been most instrumental in building this parish partnership using weekly “WhatsApp” mobile phone calls. In March 2020, Fr. Simon Peter led a group of six twinning team members from St. Max to his former parish in Soroti. We were received with much joy and excitement as any apprehension we had disappeared immediately from all the joy and happiness we shared while celebrating mass and generous giving from the St. Patrick parishioners. We soon realized we all share the same Catholic faith rooted in love of Jesus Christ. These partnerships increase a direct understanding that we all practice our faith exactly alike and share a bond even though there is a culture difference.

Holy Angles/St. Anthony Parishes, Dayton, and Rwaza Parish, Rwanda

From Debra Sanderman: Twinning has been one of the most influential parts of my faith journey. Visiting our friends in Rwanda and sharing our faith together has truly brought the global church into my heart. I believe it is so important to share the joys and sorrows of our sister parish and bring them into prayer with our own. Even across such a vast distance, we share in each other’s celebrations and join in our grief. We realize we are connected by Christ and our shared vision of peace and solidarity becomes a focus of our prayers as well as our actions. Twinning is an amazing and rewarding experience, but also requires commitment and devotion. It is, like any relationship, something to be nurtured and fed. Especially with the physical distance, we must make special efforts to include our Rwaza friends in our twinning efforts. It is not something that will grow on its own, it requires patience and hard work. Sometimes there are disappointments, but the joy of sharing our lives outshines those moments.