The Youth and Vocational Pastoral Team of the Argentina-Uruguay region began the year with the last youth mission in Villa Ocampo, Santa Fe, Argentina, from January 4 to 14 with young people who are seeking to collaborate with the mission of the Loving Father. The young people who participated came from three provinces of Argentina, the city of La Plata, the province of Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Villa Ocampo-Arroyo Ceibal in the province of Santa Fe. The two novices of the first year of the Mother Candida International Novitiate also participated (Celina and Crystal) The activities were coordinated by four sisters (Cecilia Martínez, Visitación Ruano, Susana Seva and Dolores Fernández). The mission cycle in Villa Ocampo (January 2016-2018) under the motto “Put your Heart in Me to Transmit your Way of Loving” inspired by the song “Tu modo” [Your Way] by Cristóbal Fones, deals with a part of the motto every year.
The group of missionaries was divided into four communities to serve the neighborhoods of the city, each community being accompanied by a sister. The morning activities consisted of visiting the families of the neighborhoods, sharing life and the Word with them, then returning to the school where they were housed and making the moment of personal prayer, also doing the cleaning service, alternating each day a different community. In the afternoon, a time of rest, preparation of activities and catechesis for children, youth and adults. The missionaries began the day with the prayer of Lauds and concluded it with the Consciousness Examen.
On January 12, the group had their retreat experience, following the experience of the Spiritual Exercises with the Contemplation To Attain Love. They did it in a green space, provided by the community, on the outskirts of the city. It was a silent retreat and the sisters were divided to accompany all the young people, giving each one the points for the four moments of prayer. It was a day to find God in depth and to reap the fruits of the experience during the mission days.
Before finishing the mission, they visited three different places where people were most in need of the presence of God. They visited the Good Samaritan Home that has the mission of rehabilitating young people who had become addicted to drugs. Another place to visit was the public Hospital of the city and the Home for the Elderly, for older adults did not have relatives who could take care of them. The last activity of the mission, after the closing mass on Saturday the 13th, was to organize a “Fogón” [Hearth] in a parish hall for the whole community that would like to accompany us. For this moment the missionaries gave performances where they expressed the talents of the missionary community.
The “Fogón” [Hearth] was a privileged moment to spread “His way of loving” through everyone’s joy – the missionaries and the men and women of the parish community who accompanied us; together with them the young people wanted to share the Good News of our Lord. With their simplicity and smile they inspired people to continue with hope and trust in God. Now let us continue praying for each of them so that they may always carry with them the image of our loving Father, who is always with us and loves us.