CHILE, Fr. Francisco Pereira, Pastoral Director of María Ayuda •
Almost 40 years ago, in the heart of Father Hernán Alessandri, in the holy land of Bellavista, a few meters from where his tomb is today, Maria Ayuda was born. On this same land,in the shadow of the Shrine, in what was until recently part of the house of the Institute of Schoenstatt Families, this Friday, November 26th, the corner stone was blessed to begin the construction of the project called “Casa Alma de Maria Ayuda”, an icon project of the corporation in its new strategic plan for the future. —
Among Maria Ayuda’s new projects, with projection to 2028, is to transform all its residences into “Casa Alma”, a place of shelter and transformation, which is located in a current scenario, where laws and State policies regarding alternative care are being modified, with very significant changes in children. “The idea is to ‘certify’ by 2028, as Casa Alma, each of the programs that are operating in Maria Ayuda,” says Ximena Calcagni, head of Casa Alma, in charge of this project.
The future house in Bellavista will be a modern residence to host in a place specially built for it, with the best standards of architecture, but more importantly, the best standards of quality in the care of girls.
A home for the vulnerable children and young people under the shadow of the shrine.
The beautiful thing about this journey and the beginning of the construction of this Casa Alma is that from here, from this very place, Father Hernán went out to meet the first little girls in a situation of extreme vulnerability in the streets of Santiago. For decades, hundreds of girls were welcomed in different places, distant and remote, but now they will have in this new place from where the Blessed Mother extended her motherly arms, their definitive home.
It is a reason for great joy that a privileged group of girls will be able to make their temporary home here, while their family ties and their deepest wounds are being healed, now cared for by Mary from very close by, through her chosen instruments.
We hope that this good news will be a reason for joy for the entire Schoenstatt Family in Chile, because in this way, with the generosity of many, many Casas Alma will be able to emerge in the shrines of this country.
Original: Spanish 2021-12-02. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México.