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!)