PARAGUAY, Fr Pedro Kühlcke, Ani Souberlich and María Fischer •
The invitations were sent. On Monday, 22 August, the Feast of Mary’s Queenship, Bishop Claudio Giménez, Bishop of Caáupe and a Schoenstatt Father celebrated the blessing of the “Mother of Tuparenda” House, built near the Tuparenda Shrine; it is a training center for work and human development. In addition it is oriented for the social reintegration of teens who at some time where in conflict with the law, and it is the logical, efficient and merciful consequence of “Mary’s Visit” prison ministry. We cannot visit them, love and evangelize them in jail and let them fall between the cracks once they have served their time. And when the Mother of Tuparenda House director, Ani Souberlich (yes, Ani, of the 100 houses), said this, she was driving her white car, distributing invitations, and seeking a place where one of the youths, who is already at the house, can spend the nights, so that he will not live on the street. She thinks aloud: and we will not end with this either.
First community lunch at Mother of Tuparenda House
“I know that God will be with us”
“Today I participated in the first lunch in our new “Mother of Tuparenda” House, with the first three young clients. It touched me very greatly to think that just a short while ago this was just a utopian dream and nothing more…and now it is a reality that will begin to change lives!”
“Thanks to everyone for supporting us with prayers and for your monetary contributions. We need a lot from every one of you! Who will commit to sponsor one of these youths?” Fr. Pedro Kühlcke asked a few days before the official opening of Mother of Tuparenda House.
At this house, Schoenstatt offers an opportunity for the youths; but it also for the entire country. Fr. Pedro explains: “More work is less delinquency; it is more security for you, and it leaves a better country for our children. Every client that participates in this program to change his life means two less street robberies, which is an average of seventy less assaults in a month. Help us to help.”
First of all, it is simply Christian love for others, it is a work of mercy, and thus it may well be considered Schoenstatt’s most important contribution to the Year of Mercy.
“I want to share a letter with you written by one of the clients that came to Mother of Tuparenda House, and who is now a part of this beautiful dream come true. Just one letter like this one made this project worthwhile. May God continue to awaken generous hearts that will help us with their contribution to resolve the basic needs of these youths that only need an opportunity!” Fr. Pedro said. In the letter, the youth wrote in a child’s handwriting: “First, I want to thank you for the opportunity you are giving me…Thank you for everything. You are my second family, and I love you very much. I hope that everything goes well and helping all the needy. I know that God will be with us, that he will give his blessing to help all Paraguay. In this way, all together we will move forward.”
Searching for sponsors
The last weeks were filled with intense activity to finish the construction, to set up workshops, the kitchen, and the reception hall. Although the government helped with an important amount of money for the initial phase, there is still much to do and funds to be sought. There is much solidarity: donated furniture other allies in solidarity cleaned, the German Embassy donated all the kitchen equipment, and volunteers and the first young clients cleaned everything. They planted trees around the wayside shrine, a cross and the picture of the Blessed Mother blessed by Pope Francis were erected, one of the youths was taken to the hospital, a bed and clothes were brought to a youth who was evicted, and they now make chipas, bread rolls, and pizzas in the bakery like the best professionals. They hear heartbreaking stories; they cry, hug and console…
The second chance…or the first one
It is just the same experience as in the prison ministry. Therefore it is worthwhile to share Javi Vera’s testimony, a volunteer who recently accompanied Fr. Pedro to the juvenile detention center to take photos: “Today we took photos of Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion at the Itaguá Education Center for youths deprived of their freedom through the prison ministry. Very touching and strong: I call it a place of second chances, where the youths find Christ little by little, and gradually they seek inclusion in society at their pace. Recently I heard an expression: “They are poor because they want.” This is a consequence of the reigning corruption that does not contribute to the education of the parents or theirs. Therefore they end up like that. I hope that our country will finally awaken and will stop destroying so many lives. Hopefully, more people will not lose hope in second chances.”
Tuesday, Fr. Pedro took the three youths who are at the House to Holy Mass at the Shrine. They dressed in white like altar boys, their faces radiant with a joy, only surpassed by the Blessed Mother’s joy for having them in her house…
The mother of a youth who came to the House a week ago said: “I see the change in my son and now my heart is more at ease.”
These youths who are and who will be at Mother of Tuparenda House already found their second chance and their second family. They need sponsors to help defray the costs: approximately 650€ monthly for each one. Every donation helps! And above, they all need sponsors who will pray for them, at this time and perhaps for their entire life. The author of the letter mentioned above already has a godmother. The rest wait: for you?
Christmas and the first birthday cake
“Today I heard something that broke my heart, and at the same time made me thankful and grateful…” Fr. Pedro Kühlcke related and he quoted one of the youths:
“My Christmases were always sad and solitary, except one. The most beautiful Christmas was in 2014 that I spend with you at the jail. Thank you to all of you!! Sometimes, we have no idea how many seeds of God’s Kingdom we plant in these hearts…”
On 18 August, they celebrated the birthday of one of three youths at Mother of Tuparenda House.
It was the first celebration and birthday cake in his 17 years of life.
The first birthday cake
If you want to be a prayer sponsor: Ani Souberlich [email protected] or P. Pedro Kühlcke v[email protected]
If you want to help with your donation (every donation helps):
Account in Paraguay:
Acct. No. 001-065259-003
Congregación Padres de Schoenstatt
Intended use: Casa Madre de Tuparenda
Account in Europe
Schönstatt-Patres International e. V.
IBAN DE91 4006 0265 0003 1616 26
Intended use: Fr. Pedro Kuehlcke, Casa Madre de Tuparenda