• July 30, 2011

15 years of Being Present
in the Argentinian capital

American Volunteer Grayson Heenan, who has just fin­ished his four­teen-month mis­sion in Buenos Aires, tells us about the 15th anniver­sary of the Argentinian Heart’s Home center.

¡Viva Cristo! Viva Maria! Puntos Corazón ¡Viva!" (Long live Christ! Long live the Virgin Mary! Long live Heart’s Home!) our friends at Villa Jardin were shouting with all their hearts, as they walked in pro­ces­sion through the narrow streets of our neigh­bor­hood on Saturday, July 16. Indeed, they were cel­e­brating the fif­teen-year pres­ence of Heart’s Home Charles de Foucauld in Villa Jardín.

The cel­e­bra­tion began with a pro­ces­sion com­posed of friends from our parish “Cristo Redentor” (Christ the Redeemer), neigh­bors, former vol­un­teers, friends from Buenos Aires Capital and from the Communion and Liberation Movement, fol­lowed the Virgin Mary singing and praying. Thankfully, a beau­tiful winter sun accom­pa­nied us throughout our march. The statue of the Virgin Mary that usu­ally adorns our chapel was placed on a bed of pink and white flowers, and was car­ried by turns by our friends whose faces were lit up. There was a great moment of joy and emo­tion when our small group went to the old chapel of St. John the Baptist, located in the poorest part of the neigh­bor­hood known as “Quinto”. The bells of the chapel rang joy­ously and our friends added their shouts and cheers to this con­cert. The pro­ces­sion ended in front of the Heart’s Home where the altar was ready to cel­e­brate the Thanksgiving Mass.

Behind the altar there was a large white sheet reading, in large let­ters : "Puntos Corazón / 15 Años / Villa Jardín" (Heart’s Home / 15 Years / Villa Jardín). A close friend of the com­mu­nity since the begin­ning, Father Francisco Delame, cel­e­brated Mass in thanks­giving for the many friend­ships that were formed grad­u­ally and that united us with the people in our neigh­bor­hood, people who wel­come us with open hearts. After com­mu­nion, he called all the chil­dren to the altar and gave them the Eucharistic blessing.

After Mass, we shared fif­teen cakes pre­pared by the fif­teen com­mu­ni­ties of the parish. The Heart’s Home Missionaries handed out gifts to everyone: a photo mon­tage com­bining the por­traits of the vol­un­teers who have suc­ceeded each other over the years, along with a decade-shaped keyring, designed by the com­mu­nity. In the house, hanging on the wall, there was a large sign with sou­venir photos of the Heart’s Home friends and vol­un­teers who have lived here over the past fif­teen years. It was nice to see our friends stop and com­ment on the photos, remem­bering the moments shared with each other.

This day was a great oppor­tu­nity to remember every­thing that has been expe­ri­enced over the years and to cel­e­brate friend­ship with those who accom­pany us in our mis­sion and make it pos­sible. “¡Ben­dito sea Dios!”(May God be praised!)

Grayson H.

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