ARGENTINA, Sr. M. Esther and Cecilia Mata •
On 8 December, the hospital oratory that is close to the Belgrano Shrine was re-opened. A picture of the Blessed Mother and the Divine Mercy along with the Unity Cross are also there.
A little bit of history
The oratory of Pirovano Hospital was born at the hands of Mary’s Volunteers as mature fruit of the 20 January 1992 Jubilee.
At the beginning of that year, leader and founder of the Mary’s Volunteers, Mrs. Raquel Sáenz Valiente, asked Mery Lenon to take charge of Pirovano Hospital. There was no volunteer group and the Sisters of Mary Immaculate could not fulfill all the ministry tasks and attention to the patients and their relatives. They began to work in the heart of Belgrano R, and five blocks from Mary’s Tabor Shrine. They immediately realized the crux of the matter: “hospital patients did not have a place to pray!” They did not have access to the sisters’ Chapel because of the abuses and thefts to which it had been subjected; many times, it was even used as transitional housing.
Mery Lenon spoke to the Hospital Director, and thanks to a generous donation, they build a small annex next to the main hall. After a great job of evangelization and contributions to the capital of grace by the sick, the sisters and relatives, the oratory was blessed on 30 November 1992 with the name, Our Lady Mother Trice Admirable, health of the sick and consolation of the afflicted. Then they received permission from the local ordinary to have the Blessed Sacrament.
Strivings for the capital of grace
Now– after twenty-three years –Chaplain Fr. Santiago Aduriz took the initiative to replace the picture that was somewhat faded and to fix the oratory that also was leaking. The Shrine ministry made this initiative their own: It was painted inside and out, the altar, where Mass is celebrated weekly, was refurbished, a Unity Cross was placed (through Fr. Santiago’s initiative and which was donated and conquered by the Men’s Branch), and beautiful majolica tile with the Consecration Prayer was also installed. A picture of the Divine Mercy and Pope Francis’ blessing, which was expressly extended to those who enter this holy place, was also placed in the chapel. The Pilgrim Mother’s missionaries and individuals along with volunteers joined efforts for an intense capital of grace ABOVE ALL.
During the inaugural Mass: A challenge to empty Purgatory!
On 8 December, Bishop Alejandro Georgi con-celebrated the Holy Mass with Chaplain Fr. Santiago Aduriz in the sisters’ Chapel, which is dedicated overall to the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
At the beginning, Bishop Georgi joked when he said: “I have bad news for you…” and before the astonished participants, he added “…the Blessed Mother follows me!” Referring to his career, from the time he was ordained as a priest, he was always assigned to parishes dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, he was even rector at the Major Metropolitan Seminary of the Immaculate Conception!
In keeping with the beginning of the Hoy Year of Mercy, and recalling the motto for this year “Merciful like the Father,” he made two special petitions: one was to be at the moment when we prayed for the deceased, he admonished us during this year to pray that Purgatory would be emptied of souls. The second petition was to be at the sign of the Peace: he asked that we hold the hand of the person next to us and pray for “Jesus’ hope, compassion, understanding, mercy, tenderness and forgiveness” for them, as Fr. Aduriz reiterated later.
Another outstanding moment was when he mentioned the sacrament of reconciliation, and he recalled the words of one of his confessors: “When we confess our sins, we give them up, they are no longer ours, they are Jesus’ who gave his life for us.”
After the Mass, there was a procession accompanied with songs and carrying pictures of the Pilgrim Mother to the oratory. The place was blessed again, and we prayed that it would be refuge of peace for anyone and everyone who comes to Mary and her Son during the Holy Year of Mercy. After the consecration to the Blessed Mother, the bishop blessed the participants, and he asked that the blessing be extended to all the relatives.
Of course the hospital patients had a privileged place at all times.
Video: Claudia Echenique, Buenos Aires. Photos: Cecilia Mata, Buenos Aires.