Friday, October 23, 2015

The Family continues to increase
In April, we were talking about a large number of new children entering our “Lar” after the initial “wave” of children the odd one still kept coming. The last one just came on May 31st, which was the Feast the Most Holy Trinity, and he is the third brother of two boys who had arrived the month before and who live in Lar. The next day, June 1st, we celebrated the International Day of Children, there are now three groups of three brothers who live here.
Fedinho y Samito
Some minutes after his arrival
When it seemed things had stabilized in terms of the number of children, a new child arrived unannounced on September 30. The helpless situation in which he was found led police to bring him to our center, no more documents that a letter explaining briefly the reasons for his admission   and with nothing but a bag of cookies and the clothes he wore, probably given, partly, if not all,  by the same  family services of the  Police. We welcome and hope he feels at home, while waiting for clarification of his family situation and see if there is a better option.
On Sunday, September 27th, we celebrated our patron, the Virgin Mary with the title of Mother of Orphans, we got a surprise: The dairy cow has given birth after months and months of waiting and hearing that she was pregnant or as they say here, “cheia” (full), and we had begun to doubt that she was full.
It is not the “son of the Moon” as the song of the now extinct Spanish band Mecano, but a son of “Cometa” (LUA- Moon in Portuguese) was the name given to the other dairy cow.
The cow
The cow “Cometa” with it´s calf “Treviso”
The name of the calf is Treviso, a name of an Italian city where our patron, St. Jerome Emiliani on the same day, (the 27th) but 504 years before, left a sign of his gratitude before an image of the Virgin for having escaped from castle where he was imprisoned.
That same Sunday, coinciding with our patron, there was also a great celebration in the parish, as 16 children received Baptism, together with another one, who made his First Communion. Congratulations to all and to those who prepared them. Thanks also to all those who helped make it was such a festive, participatory and organized ceremony.
The Sunday before, the celebrations were no less, as we celebrated  St. Peter Claver,
Solemn Mass of St. Peter Claver
Solemn Mass of St. Peter Claver
patron of the  parish, a Spanish Jesuit who in 1610, while still a novice, went Colombia where he wanted to be “always the servant of the black people” (aethiopum semper servus). We had a visit from the new pastor, who had recently taken possession of this parish and another, where he lives. We had solemn Mass celebration, food, and performances, including dance, in which the new pastor participated with art.
It would seem that celebrations also stimulate the cattle, for the night of October 4 saw the birth, by Moon light, of Paz (peace), the new calf of  “Deolinda”.
Mother and daughter
Mother and daughter
The name was chosen to commemorate the Peace Treaties signed in Rome that same day in 1992, which led to the end of the civil war in Mozambique. A date that is still celebrated throughout the whole country.
Football training with coach
Another new feature of recent months is the “football school” which, although without official recognition, is being carried out in our Center, for both boys of Lar as well as youth from around the area, helped by some of the older kids in the Lar. All are welcome to participate The training sessions are  all loaded with a good amount of physical exercise: jumping, running, sit-ups … that ends with what everyone likes the “big jogo”(big game) football match, with several rounds, as the number of students cannot be accommodated  in just  two teams.
Apoyo escolar de portugu├ęs
Tutoring the Portuguese language
Along with the work of sport, there is also an increase in individual work. Seeing the approaching end of the course, and the need to prepare well for the end of cycle exams, a new group has created for all those who, in addition to personal study and educational support during the day, want “something more”. Envisaged mainly for strengthening the core subjects: mathematics, Portuguese … are offered. It is a great success, and done at a time when they were normally resting or glued to the television. Also Congratulations to our new university student, Waite and our seminarian Abel. Win in the fight against the power of the television is not easy, but you are getting there day by day.
Waite and Abel tutoring a class
Waite and Abel tutoring a class

Monday, October 5, 2015

Somascan missions in Nigeria

For five centuries the Somascan Fathers and Brothers have carried out throughout the world Saint Jerome Emiliani’s legacy, “work, devotion, and charity are the Foundation of our activity”.

The Somascan Fathers or “The Company of the Servants of the Poor" was founded in 1534 when Jerome Emiliani called together his collaborators and companions for a general assembly. This handful of laymen and priests adopted an organized structure for the movement of religious and social reform started by Jerome in 1529 in Venice. Their goal was to dedicate themselves to the care, assistance, promotion of poor, orphans, abandoned youth.

The Somascan Fathers and Brothers continue St. Jerome's mission by: living in communities pursuing holiness by prayer and ministry to the poor living in humility and kindness loving poverty and work praying to the Crucified Jesus and Mary Mother of the Orphans being either priests or brothers. Performing different ministries in the Church, such as: care of orphans, disadvantaged and poor treatment of at-risk-youth rehabilitation of drug addicts education pastoral care and spiritual guidance pastoral care of minorities foreign missions youth formation. Working in: group homes treatment and rehabilitation centers retreat houses schools youth centers parishes.

1. Giovanni Ferro Children Village: It is a village for children where our fathers, with local families and volunteers welcome street children who are abandoned and who have nothing. We are building a vocational school, where children can learn a job.
2. Parish with an Elementary School (grade 1 to 6th)
3. Center of Promotion of the Women (young girls are at risk for human traffic to Europe, the prostitution mafia is very active in that south region); we offer a place, support, and job opportunities, teaching trades, skills (bakery, tailoring, along with some basic accounting)
4. Education, formation of young seminarians to become a priest. We have a house of formation where young men can discern their own vocation to the priesthood and religious life.