Messages from Aita / Aitaren Mezuak

Kaixo denori: Agur ta erdi! Greetings to all.

20 May 20 – Kaixo denori, eta agur bero-bero bat Marced-etik.
One more community celebrating their picnic on May 24: Kern Country Basque Club, which was started in 1944. The club has a very beautifully designed webpage and I invite you all to enter and have a look at the wonderful history of this club.  This confinement period, due to the pandemic, has brought along some unexpected blessings as well. It has kept us in family, together, with and enhanced opportunity to share our family life. It may have highlighted some clouds as well, but it has been a wonderful opportunity to learn how badly we need of each other. Somebody said that the devil had an audience with God and told God how happy he was that he had all the churches closed. And God smiled back to the devil and said that He had opened a church in every household. Well, this is another of the blessing in disguise: it has enabled us to celebrate the Eucharists in Basque, and this celebrations have brought many of us, in very different parts of the world, together. I am also amazed a the numbers of people who follow the prayer of the rosary in Basque. Amazing! We have been trying hard to facilitate the access of people to our live streamed celebrations. Apart from the Facebook account of Saint Patrick-Our Lady of Mercy church, we are also able now to follow the same thing in the Facebook account of Artzai Ona. I wish you all many blessing. This coming Sunday is the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. The Lord is in Heaven and because of that, He can be, and must be, found in the here and now of our personal lives in every circumstances of life. I wish you Peace and well-being to all.

Eskerrik asko, eta jarrai beti aurrera ttinko eta bizkor.

May 13 – Kaixo lagun on guziok! Pakea ta On!

Another Sunday and another Picnic, virtual, from Los Baños. Hope next year we will be able to bring this picnic live to all, via our MAX camera. Thanks for this wonderful gift you have made possible.Take good care of yourself. This is a very tricky virus. Jean-Louis Cihigoyentche, who lives in Nampa with his wife Annie, called me yesterday that his beloved brother Pierre passed away in Ondarolle, near Harneguy, Southern France at the age of 83. I had the privilege of visiting him a couple of years ago in the slops of his Artzaine baserri. Funeral services, in a private manner, will be held at the parish church of Luzaide (Valcarlos) in the Spanish side of the Basque Country. From here we wish well to Jean Louis-Annie, and their family (one sister lives in Massachussets) and a brother in Camarillo, near LA.We also just came to know that Luanne Epelde passed away. Her life has been a real calvary. I know that for her, death has been a passage to the resurrection. Also John Elorriaga passed away in February. I mentioned him last Sunday during the mass of the virtual picnic of our Basque friends living in the Oregone State towns and villages. On May 11 Melba Arquistain, 89, passed away in Meridian. We pray for her as well as her husband Paul who survives her after 62 years of marriage.

Please do not hesitate in sending me your intentions and prayers. I have nothing else to do during whole day but to pray. I have become a sort of a Trappist Monk, confined to the cloister of my rectory here in Merced: from home to church and back home. I am praying for all of you, and asking Mama Mary (today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima) that we can get rid of this “xomorro” (bicho), bug, as soon as possible.

Last Sunday was also celebrated the feast of Saint Damian of Molokai, the Apostle of Lepers, so we pray to him too, that we may overcome this testing time.Best wishes, thanks for your prayers, and God bless you all.

May 2 Saturday would have been the Fresno Picnic. It was cancelled due to COVID-19. But May 3rd, Sunday, I will celebrate mass at 9:00AM pacific, from Our Lady of Merced church in Merced, and we shall pray especially for our brothers and sisters of Fresno Basque Club. We are going to specially remember the people of that club who are sick, and those who have passed during the passed year.

May 10 we will remember our brothers and sisters of Burns, OR, and will especially remember all our mothers. By this weekend we shall be able to use the brand new camera, which Artzai Ona Basque community has kindly donated to Saint Patrick parish of Merced. The camera will be used, in the future, to live-stream the daily masses as well as all the picnic masses around this great and wide land of America. I will also be able to offer a conferences with PowerPoint, as for instance next Sunday, about the Basque devotion of Mama Mary and the different names with which Mama Mary is venerated in the 7 Basque Provinces.

If anyone wishes to make a donation, please send them to Artzai Ona (Good Shepherd) located at 601 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702. Artzai Ona in now a non-profit organization, and donations to it are tax deductible.

I am extremely happy that we have found this method of live-streaming as a way to pray and to keep close to each other. This pandemic can only be fought and won, if we keep together, with our eyes above and next to us at the same time.

As you also know I pray the rosary in Basque every day, which begins around 8PM Pacific at the house where I live. Please look to Saint Patrick church Merced, Facebook account.

This week’s mass is in the Basque dialect of Lapurdi. Click on the link to find in the text the songs and the readings and the responses to the different parts of the mass. Do not panic, please! It’s good we get acquainted with the tones and expressions of our fellow Basque brothers and sisters. Danok euskaldunak gera (gira)!

Thank you all for your prayers and love,
Aita Antton