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La Paz Sea Contigo

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Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Victor Artaiz reflects on the gifts of the Holy Spirit working in his life as he serves on mission in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

I recently celebrated the Feast of Pentecost with men and families at El Abra prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Within the Catholic chapel, the celebrant priest, Padre Juan of Maryknoll, touched on the gifts the disciples and we receive from the Holy Spirit.

Those gifts are: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord.

In reviewing and reflecting on these gifts, I became aware of how my time as a missioner with FMS has increased the fruitfulness of these gifts and the presence of the Holy Spirit in my daily walk as a missioner in Bolivia.

My ministry activities and relationships with men in prison and others recovering from addiction, preparing and serving meals to people living on the margins, and my reflective prayer time and Mass celebrations have all illuminated these various, precious gifts of the Holy Spirit.

As a missioner in a different place and culture, I have realized that I not only have been filled with these gifts, but am now blessed to take them out and share them with my sisters and brothers on my “camino” in Cochabamba.

Food for thought: After some reflection time, how do you see these gifts of the Holy Spirit working in your life?

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After a 30 year career in international business and serving communities in Kenya and locally in New Haven, CT, Victor Artaiz is grateful for the opportunity to serve and accompany individuals living on the margins in mutuality and simplicity through FMS’ Overseas Lay Missioner program. Victor's ministries in Cochabamba, Bolivia, include addiction recovery services, accompanying men who are incarcerated, and serving meals to people experiencing hunger.