The Esquipulas Sister Parish relationship strengthens our ties to our sister parish in Nicaragua, offering St. William the opportunity to be neighbor with a community in Central America, to share our faith and to be a part of their suffering a joy.
Contact: David Hulefeld, (502) 451-7916
See below for links to more about the Esquipulas relationship.
History of the Esquipulas Sister Parish Relationship
Beginning in the 1980's the community of St. William began to develop a special interest in the people of Central America. They, especially the poor, were enduring great injustices and suffering of many kinds, and continue to do so even to this day. Many of us feel that the government of the United States and often even some leaders of the Catholic Church add to the injustice and suffering rather than helping to make things right. We feel called to reach out with love and compassion to the suffering poor, our brothers and sisters. We also are challenged to do what we can to bring about change in the behavior of government and church leaders.
One outcome of our concern for the people of Central America is our Sister Parish relationship with the Church of Our Lord of Esquipulas. St. William's relationship with Esquipulas dates back to the mid-80s when Louisvillian Dan Driscoll, a Maryknoll priest and brother of our parishioner Julie Driscoll, SCN, was pastor there. St. William was very active in the Sanctuary movement at that time, providing a safe home for refugees from Central America. After a visit to Esquipulas by Julie in 1986, the churches of St. William and Our Lord of Esquipulas began a relationship and signed a Sister Parish Covenant Statement in 1987. Several delegations from St. William have visited Esquipulas since that time. In 2002 a delegation from Esquipulas visited Louisville.
In 2012, The Friends of Esquipulas was started as a non-profit organization in Louisville, Kentucky which is organized to support the Sister Parish Relationship between the communities of St. William in Louisville and Our Lord of Esquipulas in Nicaragua, as well as the work of the Developing Communities organization in Esquipulas and the Casa Materna in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. See Friends of Esquipulas website
Our Sister Parish is located in Esquipulas, Matagalpa northeast of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. It is the only Catholic parish in an area that is about the size of Jefferson County, Ky. Most of the people who live there are Catholic. About 7,000 people live in the town but the parish includes 14 rural communities/campos and the total population is about 15,000. Esquipulas is an agricultural community, in an area of hilly to mountainous terrain. The scenery is beautiful, but the farming is difficult - especially since hurricane Mitch devastated the area in 1998. The people we have had contact with are deeply faithful people, with a wonderful spirit of joy and hope despite extreme difficulties. The kindness and the generosity shown to the delegations from St. William who have visited Esquipulas over the years are an inspiration to us.
In addition to our spiritual link, we share our material resources our Sister Parish and with the public schools in Esquipulas. To establish a regular funding source for this work the fifth Sundays of the year are designated "Esquipulas Sunday." On these days we design special liturgies to celebrate our Central American relationships, and envelopes are provided for a separate collection to help finance our support. We pay the salaries of staff at the parish medical clinic and help provide medicines and supplies. This clinic is open to anyone, not just members of the church. Medical attention and/or medicines are free to those who cannot afford to pay. We also provide funding for tuition and books for students who would not otherwise be able to attend school.
- Esquipulas Relationship Highlights
- Celebrating our Lord of Equipulas:A History
- Esquipulas Covenant Statement
- Photos of the 1991 Delegation to Esquipulas
- Photos of the 1997 Delegation to Esquipulas
- Photos of the 1998 Delegation to Esquipulas
- Photos of the 2000 Delegation to Esquipulas
- Photos of the 2001 Esquipulas Christmas Party
- Photos of the 2002 Delegation from Esquipulas to Louisville
- Photos of the 2004 Delegation to Esquipulas
- Friends of Esquipulas website
There have been other delegations to and from Esquipulas since 2004. Photographs from these visits are on the Friends of Esquipulas Flickr Page,