Bob’s brother, Fr. Jack Donald, S.J., has built a chapel in Honduras in
honor and memory of Bob.  It was inaugurated on June 25, 2006.

30 June 2006

Dear friends of the Bonito Mission:

From my perspective here “down under” on the north coast of Honduras, this past fortnight was the most significant period of time during all this year.  Firstly, we celebrated the priestly ordination of “Chilo Cruz”, a local seminarian who has survived his many years of training and finally has earned the name of “Father Chilo”.  After the Mass we vied for first place in the feeding of the biblical multitudes, but settled for second place with 1,200 dinners to those present for the ceremony.  The next day Fr. Chilo celebrated his First Mass in the Bonito parish and now the diocese has a worthy priest to minister to the faithful.

Then this last weekend we did it again!  The Fiesta Patronal in honor of the “Holy Martyrs” evoked the memory of so many people, not yet canonized, who have died during the past twenty five years:  Jesuit Fr. Guadalupe who was killed by the Honduran military in 1982, the two Franciscan priests and 16 others who were brutally killed by the military a few years earlier; Honorio the seminarian who was killed in Olanchito by the local military; plus many other lay ministers of our parishes assassinated for their outspoken commitment to justice in their commitments as Ministers of the Word.  Also we commemorated the many other canonized martyrs of the Americas who have given their lives in service of others.

During these past days we have had a score of visitors from up north of the boarder.  And it must be noted that they were all legal and not an undocumented person among them!  Family members came from near and far to dedicate the new chapel in memory of brother Bob, bless the newly constructed buildings at the parish center, consecrated the new parish cemetery, and bless the new playground where our deep water well is now providing water to all those who visit our parish center, aptly named “El Alfarero”.  They hailed from Palo Alto, from Columbia and from Hilton Head, South Carolina.  They came from Sacramento, San Jose and the Dominican Republic.  They came to share our meals and get to know the people of the parish of Bonito Oriental.

Perhaps these grand events didn’t make headlines around the world, but they were occasions that will be long remembered by the people here in Bonito Oriental.  Thanks to all of you for your support and your prayers.  May the good Lord bless you and keep you always.


Fr. Jack Donald, s.j.

February 21, 2006

The inauguration date of the chapel will coincide with the date of the new Fiesta Patronal the 24th (vespers) and the 25th of June.  It is the day Honduras celebrates its martyrs including Oscar Romero.  The evening of June 24th will be the beginning of the celebration.  The Mass will probably be at 7 p.m. followed by festivities until midnight.  Then Mass on June 25 at 9 a.m. with the Bishop officiating.  A Donald family contingent will be attending from California, South Carolina, and Dominican Republic.  There are many beautiful sights to see in Honduras, including Roatan Island, Pico Bonito National Park, and the ruins at Copan.  To get to Bonito Oriental, you can catch a plane to La Ceiba International and arrange local transportation.  Let us know if you would like to join us.

January 21, 2006

Today is the last day on the job for half our workers.  Four will remain for the finishing touches on the construction work.  The inauguration will probably be the 29th and 30th of June with an outside chance that it be the 23/24 of March.  It has to be subject to the asamblea parroquial, which convenes the 23/25 of February.

October 25, 2005

On the 22nd of this month we had a memorial Mass here for Bob in our Colonia La Canadá.  Everybody showed up (It’s a small community) and afterwards we passed out a little holy card and had horchata and cookies.  The memorial chapel is with roof and we are awaiting the windows.  I hope to keep the parish day celebration on the 24th of March and then we will consecrate the new parish center, the chapel and the park on that day.

October 15

Today we finished changing the roof. The tile didn’t work well because of the angle of the roof so we changed it to a really beautiful Italian style aluminum roofing.  Now we need the doors and the windows.  And the drizzling rain continues!  Lots of water this year.  The inauguration will be next year but we haven’t decided on the date.  It may be on the 24 of March.

May 7

The foundation is complete and we are now awaiting the bricks. We have to bring them in from some 350 kilometers distance by truck and there has been a shortage.  See photos of the site, which is in an orange grove.

The Chapel is modeled after a chapel in Tocoa and should look something like this when it is complete (but larger, measuring 32 by 30 feet with a porch at the entrance).

April 10

The construction is into its third week.  The foundation has been laid and we have traveled some 400 kilometers to buy the bricks in San Pedro Sula.

April 4

Today I picked up the memorial plaque for the new chapel “Todos los Santos Mártirez” in memory of Bob.  Last week we began the construction in the orange grove.

March 31

Last Monday we finally got started. Our man was out in the Mosquitia building water tanks.  We had to get a tractor to level the site a bit. Now we have two albañiles, and a good group of day laborers.  We took out four orange trees to make room.

The idea of a memorial church is something I’ve been planning for some time.  I thought of naming a church in honor of Bob for his help over the years.  But now he will be the benefactor with a plaque at the entrance of the chapel. The chapel will be at the service of all our parish events.  It will be across from the main hall at the parish retreat center “El Alfarero,” and right in the middle of an orange grove.

March 8, 2005

Hopefully the construction on the church will begin this month.  My favorite artisan constructor is still in the Mosquitia building water tanks and should return in a couple of days.

The chapel will be small, about 60 capacity, at the service of the people who participate in the activities of the Center.  The name “Los Santos Mártires de Centro América” is in honor of all the people who have died over the past years, including the Jesuits of the UCA and Monseñor Romero.  “El Alfarero” is the name of the parish center.  I hope to finish the chapel this year and next year, the fiesta patronal, will mark the dedication.