tim_estrada_nov2019Fr. Arturo Estrada, SJ presented the homily at last weekend’s masses, reflecting on how Jesus spoke to the tax collector Zacchaeus not as a sinner but as a person, calling him by name and opening Zacchaeus’ heart to the gospel message.  Fr. Arturo also spoke about the work of the Jesuit Mission in Bachajon, Mexico, where he and four other Jesuits serve the indigenous Tseltal people of southern Mexico in over 600 villages spread across 2200 square miles.   STM parishioner Leigh Holbrook serves as Director of Development Relationship for Mission Bachajon, and together with Fr. Arturo spoke with parishioners at coffee talks after masses and in a special Sunday evening presentation about the Mission’s work building the Native Church and supporting the community’s efforts to create local autonomy and a sustainable local economy around the harvesting, processing and sale of coffee.  The primary teaestrada_gospel_nov2019ms of the mission include the Native Church; Social Organization; Cultural Education; Communication; and the Solidarity Economy.  Each team has several projects working to develop the local community’s path out of poverty and disenfranchisement towards economic security and local autonomy.  STM and Mission Bachajon are exploring how to grow a collaborative relationship between these two Jesuit communities, creating lasting ties of mutual support to bring justice and dignity to the Tseltal people, and to bring STM parishioners a connection with and deeper understanding of our brothers and sisters in remote corner of southern Mexico.