Next stop, Venezuela

March 27, 2009

Faith Outdoors

I have been spending the week tying up some loose ends before I leave Sunday for two weeks in Venezuela to visit the archdiocesan mission there, run by Father Greg Schaffer, a priest from this archdiocese who has been on assignment there for 11 years.

I will spend Holy Week and Easter there, which should be very interesting. Catholics in Venezuela do much more elaborate things during Holy Week than we do. They will have several processions throughout the week, with some lasting four or five hours. Then, the Easter celebration begins early Sunday morning and continues throughout the day.
Several months ago, Father Greg invited me to come down and take pictures of the mission, which will have its 40th anniversary in 2010. I asked if my wife, Julie, could come with me. When he said yes, I accepted. She will go down for a week, while I’ll stay for two. She’s really excited about the chance to see the mission and the twin port cities of San Felix and Puerto Ordaz. As a photojournalist, I’m looking forward to the photographic possibilities.
We’ll be packing feverishly tomorrow to get ready for the flight down to Caracas, after which we’ll board another plane for a short flight to the mission. We’ve tried to take care of things this week like getting our tax return filed. Also, last night, I picked up my bass from the taxidermist and brought it into my office today. It’s nice to be able to look at it as I begin to think about this year’s fishing season.
Speaking of fishing, Father Greg said I should have a chance to do some fishing while I’m down in Venezuela. San Felix, where the mission is located, is at the intersection of two rivers, and Father Greg has found someone who will take me fishing. It will be quite different from anything I have experienced up here and I’m looking forward to it. I plan to write about it in my April outdoors column. Stay tuned and pray for me!

About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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