At church this past Sunday Father Murray re-commissioned the Lay Ministers who are devoted in helping our parish here in San Pedro. The Reverend outlined their duties in the ministry like taking the communion to the sick and counseling those preparing for baptism and marriage. As he went through the duties he said that there have always been those dedicated to the church and have served in some way or the other. It was then and there that I remembered some folks who are now gone into eternal rest and who served the Lord through this church.
First I remember Tio Dolito. He was everybody's uncle. He rang the bell for mass, led in the procession prayers and was an example to all the faithful in San Pedro. When I was a young child, I used to think that Dolito was a priest. Doņa Paula also came to mind as a fervent Roman Catholic lay minister in her own way. She made flowers and always made sure the church was well adorned with her paper flowers. She also provided these special wax candles for church services and funerals and novenas.
Rogelia Alamilla known as "Chejel" was a devoted person to her church. She organized novenas and was very active in the church choir of her days. We must give recognition to Mrs. Elvira Alamilla known as "Didi". She too organized novenas, arranged for the songs for the novenas and was a leader in the church choir. At the processions it was Didi's voice that was outstanding.
Though Don Severito Guerrero's biggest contributions were in culture, he too played a very active role in the church like lay ministers do. He led the musical band for the Easter religious rituals as well as for the processions. This band of musicians played at all funerals, making them a very solemn occasion.
Who can forget Don Averiano Rivero known to all as Don Tach? This good gentleman rang the church bell for special occasions, for mass, for novenas, for funerals and for death anniversaries. He also bathed the deceased and prepared them for burial. Don Tach was also active in the periodic processions and novenas. I always thought he was the wisest person when it came to reciting prayers.
Doņa Tomasita Gomez was very much involved in the ladies choir and in the organizing of the living Holy Rosary. She took care of those little details that many others tend to forget.
One of the most ardent and faithful organizer of religious festivities was Doņa Vilma Arceo. If she had been living today, I am sure she would have been commissioned as a lay minister too. Nevertheless she organized religious events like Easter procession, Dia de San Pedro, Dia de La Guadalupe and the various other special novenas and processions. At funerals she was one of the first to come to assist in the prayers and liturgy. Not only was she a leader in the ladies' choir, but she also was the main organizer in the building of the San Pablo Chapel, our second Roman Catholic Church in Ambergris Caye.
Finally we should pay tribute to our most dedicated ladies' choir today who does the work of lay ministry as well. Our appreciation and acknowledgement to Leni Alamilla, Marcia Nuņez, Leonor Trejo, Marthita Leslie, Jeannie Bremekamp, as well as Severito Guerrero, Ramon Guerrero and Lucio Guerrero. Twenty Five Years Ago pays tribute to all persons who work like the lay ministers, both past and present. God Bless.