PARAGUAY, Ismelda Vázquez •
The Prison Pastoral “Visitation of Mary” continues to be full of enthusiasm and good vibes to continue betting on those who do not have so many opportunities, on those whom most people fear and even hate. They are beings who should be innocent, protected and guided by someone, either their family or the state, but no. They are not for that. None of them are there for that, they were raised in single rooms, among drugs, alcohol, violence, which their minds were normalizing. —
Ooh, what can come out of these little people? They that long before being victimizers were victims of all kinds of violence, rapes, addiction to the worst drug (the cheapest). Well! Very ugly up to here, because there are also in that place many young people who want to be different, who value the little that is given to them, who feel good receiving strangers who are interested in them.
We visit them every Saturday
And well, there we are, a group of people faithful to their purpose, who visit them every Saturday, we bring them the Word, we pray and we do not miss the expected snack and sharing with them in total confidence.
It was not easy without Father Peter Kühlcke, who was transferred to Germany to exercise his priesthood in that distant place. He was a father to each one of these young people, he exercised an incredible paternity, also for us, (we miss him very much). But thanks to what he imbued in our hearts, to lean towards the weakest and to love them, we went on!
A seminarian stays with Prison Pastoral Care
In the prison we taught catechesis, we were able to prepare them and celebrate the sacraments of baptism, first communion and confirmation twice in 2023, thanks to the prayers of Father Pedro. It is also a reality that few priests have the charisma of Father Pedro, and this action is voluntary. I must say that we had a hard time getting priests for the sacraments, but those who said Yes, were extraordinary and we thank them very much. One of the priests took seminarians, and one of them stayed with us, he does what he can to share with the boys on Saturdays (Thank you, Rai, for your generous Yes! We love you).
Christmas in prison
At the end of the year, we are very prepared to share Christmas and New Year with them and thanks to the generosity of many, we bring them dinner, music, and gifts. At this point I stop to tell you that several of them tell us that it is the best Christmas of their lives, that they have never had a table set, food, non-alcoholic drinks and music before. Can we imagine that? It is very sad.
I thank God and our dear mother Santa Maria, for giving us the opportunity to continue with this apostolate in spite of various difficulties, for giving us health, and the will to continue. Thanks to each one of those who make it possible for us to continue.
It’s a school of faith… for us
There is no doubt that we frequently experience the Divine Province, and that “She is the great missionary”, “She will work miracles”, She does not let herself be won over in generosity, also the “Faithful and most faithful fulfillment of duty” and many other maxims that our Father and Founder Joseph Kentenich bequeathed to us.
Thank you for so much in this year 2023!!!!!
This is what “Tia” Ismelda wrote, with much affection.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org