ECUADOR, Fr. Rafael Amaya / María Fischer •
They did it once again. As since the beginning of the pandemic, and during all these difficult years, and even this year 2023. Once a month, the Schoenstatt Shrine in the city of Quito becomes a House of Bread, a House of Charity, where, in a long line, the poor of the neighborhood wait for their “charity bags” with food and what they need to survive. They are families where no one has a job, single mothers, the elderly. Schoenstatters with social commitment, that is, simply Schoenstatters, make the donations, look for the food, put it in the bags and hand it out. —
“Good morning, I thank Fr. Rafael and all the members of this little church for giving us the food to all the families. We really need it, thank you”, one of the beneficiaries said.
“I want to thank you because from here, from the shrine, from our church, we continue to do this work of charity that gives hope and relief to many families. I offer my prayers for you and let us continue with this work. May God bless you”, comments Fr. Rafael in a short video, which month after month is recorded and distributed among those who feel part of this work of mercy, these works for which Jesus will ask us on the day of the meeting with him at the end of our life. “What did you do for me?” The Schoenstatters of Quito will say: “Lord, yes, we fed you… we fed your favorite brothers and sisters, the poorest of the poor in our city”.
The meaning of the charity bags for Schoenstatt in Ecuador …and beyond
Without the campaign, it was mentioned at the International Encounter of Santa Maria 2000, Schoenstatt would perhaps have remained like Christianity without St. Paul: a small-town reality, without a horizon, without land to conquer.
Without the concrete social commitment, without projects such as the delivery of the charity bags, Casa del Niño, Cien Casas, Encuentro, Dequeni, House Mother of Tuparenda, Lichtzeichen, Maria Ayuda, prison ministry, without the work in refugee camps, in homes for children and the elderly, in hospitals, among street people… Schoenstatt may have remained, perhaps its permanence would have become an enclosed, elite reality, a bubble, a club of self-sanctification.
Thank you, Fr. Rafael.
Original: Spanish, 2023-02-19. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México