PARAGUAY, by María Fischer •
“The private initiative of a member of our Family, in the context of the Jubilee Year – to build in the heart of Paraguay the basic infrastructures for homes which can continue being built by their beneficiaries – led us to the decision that the gift we can give to His Holiness through Covenant solidarity and with the support of friends and acquaintances, is to give 100 basic homes to 100 families who live in extreme poverty. They will be the living remembrance of our Covenant of Love with His Holiness…..”
These lines from a letter to Pope Francis, written on the eve of the Jubilee, came to my mind when I received the news about the stormy weather which shook up a great part of Asunción and the central region of Paraguay last Friday, causing two deaths and great devastation. The streets and byways became large flowing rivers, great trees fell and thousands of persons were left without water and electricity…..
Amidst this destruction, there were more than 150 families who lived through this stormy weather under a firm roof, in a humble home which which was not demolished, with anxiety, of course, but in a secure place…..and this was thanks to the Jubilee gift of the “100 homes in solidarity,” which are now more than 150, some of which were precisely terminated a few days before the stormy weather. 150 families which previously would have survived under rudimentary plastic tents…..
They are Jubilee fruitfulness. There is something true left from the Jubilee which speaks of a Schoenstatt on the way. Even though few of those who contributed in the names of their Daughter Shrines, Home Shrines, project Shrines, parishes or from the heart, they cannot “go out” to visit these homes, they all went out to encounter these families who lived in extreme poverty, giving something and in many cases a great deal of their money or, in the case of the “builders” in Paraguay, of their time, strength and creativity.
In a given moment, I asked for forgiveness from Ulrich and Melanie Grauert from Switzerland for not having taken pictures of “their” homes in solidarity, simply because I did not get to them. Uli Grauert’s response remained ingrained in me: “I do not only see our homes, but all of them. I want to be and I feel a part of the totality of these homes in solidarity, of something really great…..”
A freezer and a washing machine
At this time, Ani S., who more than two years ago started this “great” initiative, is taking a washing machine and a refrigerator to the family who lives in the home which bears the name of the Shrine “Mary’s Home” in Mar del Plata. It is a home for disabled children. In this home lives a young man who takes care of his mother and his three disabled brothers who are bedridden. The benefactress was not at peace until she was able to obtain these two tools for “her” family.
“Porfirio was speechless in thanking the generous persons who gave him this great gift. María, he remembered you very well, and told me you were an angel from Heaven for his family. He thanked me for having taken you to his little home. Leónida, his mother, told me in Guaraní amidst her tears: “May God and the Virgin Mary rewardly you double, Ana and María and the family who gave us this great gift: Tupasy Caácupé orovasá peeme: “may the Virgin of Caácupé bless you all.”
“150 Euros remain of the generous donation. We did not buy the stove which the benefactors had thought of in the first place, since Porfirio said that he needed much more urgently a lawnmower which would help him to work in order to secure funds for his family. They can continue to manage with their brazier. They now have what is most important during the warm weather: a refrigerator to have cold water, ice and the ability to keep the food which needs refrigeration, like milk, fruit and vegetables. And the washing machine so that his elderly mother does not have to wash the bedding by hand…..”
“I have already spoken to a family who, this Christmas, will fill their refrigerator with food. In reality, Porfirio works at whatever he can find in order to provide the daily bread to his brothers,” comments Ani, certain that whatever is lacking to buy the lawnmower (250 Euros) will come along.
Attachments, bonds, solidarity
Attachments, bonds. “Schoenstatt.org wants to establish bonds among the different cultures and ways of thinking which we represent through the exchange of information about the life which develops in the various apostolic activities which exist in the heart of our Schoenstatt Family, especially in its service to the Church and local society where we are,” Fr. José María summarized the task of this webpage. A washing machine and a refrigerator speak of these real attachments.
When it does not rain on a weekend and when there are donations, we will continue building homes in solidarity.
There are still Daughter Shrines in the world who do not have a home in solidarity in their name. There are also Home Shrines who do not have one. Let us recall the story of the first home in solidarity built in the name of a Home Shrine in Spain: a little girl gave – as part of her family’s contribution – her moneybox where she had been saving her gifts from “el ratoncito Pérez/the tooth fairy (USA)” – a Spanish tradition (also in the USA) – for each tooth which fell. She did this so that some children in Paraguay could have what she had always had: a home with her family.
There are still families in extreme poverty hoping for a home.
How many doors of mercy will open in our homes of solidarity?
The necessary donation for a home is 200 Euros/$250 US Dollars
TO TRANSFER TO THE DONATIONS ACCOUNT IN PARAGUAY
Ana Esperanza Souberlich Martínez
Account number: 7.0175419/0
Banco Itaú Paraguay S.A. Asuncion
TO TRANSFER TO THE DONATIONS ACCOUNT (SEPA) – OPTION FOR DONATIONS FROM EUROPE
Uso previsto: Un techo para cobijar (foreseen use: a roof to cover)
|Fotos de las casas solidarias|