PARAGUAY, Fr. Pedro Kühlcke •
Christmas is a difficult time for the young people deprived of their freedom in the juvenile prison near Tupãrenda, burdened with guilt, loneliness and longing… As every year, with the prison ministry “Visitation of Mary” we are preparing to offer them a good Christmas dinner, with gifts, songs and prayers: baby Jesus wants to be born in their hearts too! —
Yesterday at the Sunday Mass in Tupãrenda I asked for help to finance this dinner and the gifts. I was very excited when after Mass, aside, half hidden, a very humble woman was waiting for me accompanied by an old man.
– Pa’i, I am Pepito’s mother, from the little town of XX. My employer sometimes brings me to Mass here at Tupãrenda. Do you remember my son? A long time ago he was in the juvenile prison, and he also started your program at the Hose Mother of Tupãrenda.
– Of course I remember! Unfortunately he deserted the program soon after… What happened to him?
– Oh, pa’i!
Almost crying with grief, she told me that Pepito was never able to overcome his drug addiction; he goes in and out of jail, now he is in an all adults jail; he is almost never at home.
– But I always remember how you helped Pepito and the others, with the Saturday visits and the Christmas dinner. I have almost nothing, but I want to help you for Christmas in prison.
She gave me a 5,000 Guarani bill, and the old man, gave me a 10,000 Guarani: in total, less than two euros. I felt that the poor widow of the Gospel (Mk 12) was present in the church of Tupãrenda, and that nothing will be missing this year for our Christmas dinner in the juvenile prison!
Thanks to all of you who always support us, because this way Jesus will be born in many hearts this Christmas!
Fr. Peter Kühlcke
December 13, 2021
Note: Pa’i means “priest” or “father” in Guarani a local language in Paraguay.
Original: Spanish 2021-12-14. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México