In 1991, four Dominican priests from the Central and Southern Provinces of the United States established the first Dominican mission in Honduras. In 1998, Columbus Dominican Sr. Doris Regan and Grand Rapids Dominican Sr. Joan Williams arrived, joining the team which had grown to include 25-30 Honduran lay men and women committed to collaborating in the mission in San Pedro Sula as members of the Dominican Family.
The Dominican ministries include preaching workshops for Delegates of the Word as well as a two-week international preaching workshop open to all of Latin America, a prison ministry in collaboration with the Diocesan Pastoral team, a university presence with young people, and weekly radio programs. A large part of the pastoral work is a two-year formation program in theology for laity, as well as a diploma program in theology, at the Catholic University.
As a response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Mitch, and with the aid of donations from other countries, the team has constructed houses and a community center for eleven families left homeless. They continue to accompany these families through what has been named the San Martín de Porres project, which now boasts a school with morning and afternoon sessions for children from pre-kindergarten to third grade.
San Pedro Sula is considered the "capital" of HIV+/ AIDS cases in Central America. The Casa Aurora AIDS Center ministers to 51 families with children infected or affected by the disease. The center offers a weekly support group for adults, sessions for the children, and workshops for the families regarding the disease itself, touching on topics such as nutrition, family issues, psychological aspects, legal rights, counseling, and mutual support. There are regular home visits to accompany the families and a "small business" project to help the women earn some income.
Presently, the team includes Sr. Doris, Sr. Joan, two Dominican friars from Central America, and the lay Dominican Family members, who all continue to collaborate in all of these pastoral ministries. Fifteen of the Honduran lay Fraternity members have made lifetime promises to the Order. The entire community meets at least once a month and there are two weekend retreats each year.
"It is a joyful and life-giving space in which to be ministering!"
- Sr. Doris Regan OP