Posted On 2016-12-28 In 100 houses, Covenant solidarity, Schoenstatt - Reaching out

“100 houses:” We are advancing during Christmas guided by the star of solidarity.

100 HOUSES, Maria Fischer and Ani Souberlich •

Bethlehem, Israel - July 12, 2015: A silver star marks the traditional site of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Israel


We are advancing…on the road towards Christmas

We, a searching people, a people of waiting, a people of hope…

We are advancing…on the road toward Christmas

Guided by a star, a star of peace and of solidarity…

We are advancing …on the road toward Christmas

A single desire guides our steps: to find a child, to find the smile of a child, to find the humanity of a child…

We are advancing …on the road toward Christmas

Hands extending toward others, the different one, the stranger, the displaced one, the unloved one..

We are advancing …on the road toward Christmas

And we sing: “Peace to men of Good Will”

The “Blue Marists” sent their greetings with this text from Aleppo, Syria. Christmas like that time in Bethlehem, poor, simple, at risk, however, a Christmas where those who allow themselves to be guided by the star of peace and solidarity perhaps do not receive gifts, but they do receive a greater and purer gift of merciful love and solidarity from God: that child of Bethlehem, his Son.

We are advancing …on the road toward Christmas when all of us extending a hand, a gift, a moment, a prayer, a gaze at the poor.

We are advancing … on the road toward Christmas is also the title for the Christmas project that emerged on 6 December when some of the team dialogued and shared the photos of the newest four houses of solidarity, bringing the total to 180 houses.

“100 houses of solidarity” began in 2013 as a concrete and real expression of Covenant Solidarity with Pope Francis. This initiative involves building a house for Jesus seeking a roof and a home…giving a family a home, and then another and another… Paraguayan families in extreme poverty. It is doing something, something real, concrete, something that remains this Christmas, guided by the star of peace of solidarity. “If you cannot feed a hundred people, feed one,” Mother Teresa said. We cannot build a house for all the world’s poor or even all of Paraguay’s poor people. However we can build one. With solidarity and creativity and by networking, we can do it for thirty families in horrendous conditions. That is how everything began at Easter 2013. A few weeks after sealing the Covenant of Solidarity with Pope Francis, “mission impossible” emerged: 100 houses. 100 houses for the 100 years of the Covenant of Love. A gift for Pope Francis, something that will remain of the Jubilee…100 families each with a house remains from the Jubilee… and it has not ended. It seems to be of God. “That the houses of solidarity continue…” This was among the ten “dreams” for the future of manifested during a planning workshop of the council at the end of January 2015, in Madrid. It continued.


What if we try to reach 200 by Christmas?

That exchange on 6 December continued with new fire, an exchange around the (virtual) table of the’s “Dreamteam” during the second week of Advent., via WhatsApp:

How many more houses until we reach 200?

20… only 20.

200  houses for Christmas?

Fr. José María, you beat me to the idea.

It must be the Holy Spirit then.

What better way to level the road toward Christmas than to build in solidarity?

How beautiful it would truly be to build a house for Jesus’ poorest brothers/sisters!

What a joy to do something concrete, real, something that will remain!

Claudia Echenique: Twenty years ago, after the Schoenstatt Fathers moved from the house in the Belgrano neighborhood of Buenos Aires to House Sion in Florencio Varela, twelve blocks from New Schoenstatt, Fr. José Pontes proposed that I make a video for a project that he wanted to undertake. It happened that in the surroundings of Sion, on grounds that had been a landfill, in twenty days, approximately 300 very poor families established themselves; they had nothing. They made their “little ranches” with cardboard, sheet metal, tarps; plastic… Fr. José Pontes looked for sponsors for these families so they could obtain construction materials to build their houses. Today, this is a large part of the neighborhood that surrounds the Fathers’ house and the Sion Shrine in Florencio Varela. This project was called “From Bethlehem to Nazareth.” After twenty years, this stage of the Houses of Solidarity could be called “From Bethlehem to Nazareth”. What do you think?

Susana Llorente: As to the Houses of Solidarity needed, I propose we finance a couple of houses as a “Dreamteam.” It will not be hard to collect the money in Argentina or Buenos Aires; we have to see how to send it…

At this point in the dialogue, the fire is already burning…


It opened my heart

Transferring money has been improved greatly over the last three years, there is an account in Paraguay and Germany, there is PayPal and as a highlight – we are a few steps from fulfilling a dream that emerged two years ago: an online donation system offered in “covenant solidarity,” which allows donations for Houses of Solidarity with a single click…

Within a few days there were  donations for four houses, from Spain, Portugal and Germany. Fr. Egon Zillekens was the first to test  the new system of online donations to give a house on behalf of the “Kanaan Paris” Shrine of the Priests’ Federation. “The exchange opened my heart,” commented another collaborator of when she donated.

“During this Advent, God came to our encounter in a very special way, He gave us the opportunity to do something “concrete”, for someone who is in a worse condition than ours.

May this be our Capital of Grace that will reach the Original Shrine this Christmas!” commented Susana Llorente, from Buenos Aires.

“There is also an initiative for new houses in Paraguay,” Fr. José María García said. “I was promised one in Asunción, and they will get into contact with Ani.”

“Here in Rome, it is certain: during Mass on the 18th, the collection will be taken for this purpose! It was my idea and everyone supported it,” Pamela Fabiano reported. The “House of Rome” is House No. 185.

As of 18 December, there are  ten houses. We only need ten more to reach 200.

Almost 200 houses. Almost 200 families. An entire neighborhood. A neighborhood of solidarity.  A neighborhood of hope. A neighborhood as a gift to Pope Francis.

We advance on the road towards Christmas…



Online donation (beta).

The form is in Spanish, but self-explaining. So far, only PayPal and bank transfer from European countries. Credit Cards coming soon. This is an offer of Schoenstatt PRO, a free initiative for joint fundraising for projects of solidarity.



Ana Esperanza Souberlich Martinez
Account Number: 7.0175419/0
Banco Itaú Paraguay S.A. Asuncion

TRANSFER TO DONATIONS ACCOUNT (SEPA) – Option for donations from Europe

M. Fischer
IBAN DE08400602650062268615
Intended use: 100 houses

A house can be built with 200 €/$US.


Here is Bethlehem

Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA

100 Solidarity Houses

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