CHILE, Gustavo Hanna Crespo •
Since 2012, seminarians from Major College have had a project of social insertion in the southern area of Santiago, Chile, specifically in the community of Puente Alto. In this same place, the Schoenstatt Fathers’ community has a school that takes care of children, teens and youths from this area. Puente Alto is where the Major College’s Holy Week Missions are carried out.
The project consists in living in a house for one year with two or three seminarians serving pastorally in the catechesis of the school, as well as in the two chapels (Lord of Mercy and San Carlos). The idea is to generate spaces where the people can meet to share as brothers/sisters and to be a religious presence in the midst of the people.
Several Brazilians have already had this experience. Fr. Julio and Fr. Ailton in 2013, and Deilton in 2016. I am also having this opportunity of living in this place for a year along with two other seminarians, a Chilean and a Spaniard.
Simple gestures: being Christ’s hands and feet
They are simple gestures that form us every day as priests: a conversation, going and praying for the deceased in some home, accompanying in the Baptism rites, or simply being the “seminarian neighbors.”
Along with the Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth from the Campanario Shrine (east of the Chilean capital), different activities are carried out to take the joy of Jesus’ Gospel to the people.
It is not only an experience of a permanent mission, but it is going along with and sharing the road of faith with the neediest.
This project is called Sion Puente (Sion Bridge), that is, it is our desire, as seminarians of the Schoenstatt Fathers, to be a bridge between God and men so that every person can have a real encounter with Christ– the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Original: Portuguese. 25 November 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA