PARAGUAY, Fr. Pedro Kühlcke/mf
Christmas in jail? It is sad reality for hundreds of young adolescents in Itagua, Paraguay’s Juvenile Detention Center close to the Tupãrenda Shrine. Christmas in jail? While others rest, sing, feast, and enjoy family and friends? Madness! Madness and a joy for the Schoenstatt prison ministry team. —
“Thank you for remembering us on such a special day!” some of the young men said, almost tearfully …
Ismelda, she is the “snack boss” each Saturday, comments: “It is worthwhile!! For a hug, for a happy face, for a different moment and young boys’ esteem, of feeling and expressing “You are good and you have God in your heart, thank you for this” these were the words of one the youths who expressed his gratitude for sharing with them throughout the year and for the Christmas dinner. They too deserve being the hope of the Nation.”
Everything to know Tupãrenda and to know a different life!
On his visits to the jail, as well as during this Christmas dinner, Fr. Pedro sometimes “disappears” because one of the youths wants “to speak with Pai (Daddy)” —that is to go to confession. But confessing in the sense that Jesus wanted to give this precious sacrament: to get rid of everything bad, of everything complicated, of everything that rests most heavily on the youth’s shoulders.
Sometimes the notebook that he always carries with him also disappears. It returns, a little later with something written by hands unaccustomed to writing.
It returns with something like this that a youth left:
“I will not cut my hair for (a) woman, (but) I will to go to Tupãrenda!”
Everything to know Tupãrenda and to know a different life!”
Tupãrenda: this is, that extension of shrine solidarity, Tupãrenda Mother House, God’s Dwelling. Hope, goals, and a reason to struggle and continue forward for these youths in jail—a home, a house to live in to find a new life— On 18 October 1914, in a forgotten chapel in the Vallendar valley, Germany, God’s Mother and ours said: ‘Then I will attract youthful hearts, and I will educate them as useful instruments in my hands.” Since then many shrines and many houses have been built.
And now, it seems God’s Mother, the Mother of Schoenstatt, wants to say from her Mother of Tupãrenda House: “Then from here I will draw youthful hearts to myself, and I will educate them be useful instruments in my hands… wounded, sad, abandoned youthful hearts, and I will educate them as happy youths, accepted and joyful in my hands. And yes, as useful instruments in my hands.”
Thank you to everyone who supported us to celebrate Christmas!
Original: Spanish. 12 January 2019. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA – Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA