• December 5, 2007

A Typical Day at Heart’s Home

Julie, Heart’s Home missionary in Barros Alto in Peru, October 2006.

Lead a simple and humble life to share the neighborhood’s reality

We usu­ally get up at 7 a.m. and the day begins with morning prayer. On our way to the Mass in our parish, we take time to greet our friends who are working, taking chil­dren to school or just sit­ting in front of their houses. We then take turns for an hour of silent ado­ra­tion in the chapel.

The Missionary in charge of the cooking goes to the market place, which is a meeting point for the mothers and grand­mothers. We also clean the house as a way to show our respect to our friends and to the com­mu­nity. At noon, we have lunch together and after a break, we gather for the Rosary. Our neigh­bors often join us as the rosary was orig­i­nally meant to be the prayer of the poor.

In the after­noon, we go out in pairs to encounter people in the neigh­bor­hood, while one of us stays in the house to wel­come those who come to visit espe­cially the chil­dren.

Most of the ser­vices we render are of parental type. Fathers are gen­er­ally absent and mothers are most of the time over­whelmed by their respon­si­bil­i­ties. If a child is very hungry or sick, has a torn shirt, needs help with their home­work, or feels lonely and searches someone to talk to... they come to our place.

We also go out from our imme­diate neigh­bor­hood to serve in shel­ters, jails, hos­pi­tals, garbage dumps etc. These so-called “ex­ternal mis­sions” are oppor­tu­ni­ties to work with other NGOs and to net­work with them, so that our friends can ben­efit from their specific ser­vices.

In the evening we gather again in the Chapel to pray ves­pers (the evening prayer), entrusting to the Lord all the people we have met during the day.

Welcome the unexpected

We must learn to live the unex­pected in peace since our schedule can be changed any time according to the needs of our friends and neigh­bors. We might take a child to the hos­pital because of an acci­dent, spend time in the street with a home­less person in great need of a human pres­ence, accept to stay with a family for dinner, or inter­vene in a tragic event occur­ring in the neigh­bor­hood...

As we always ask the Holy Spirit to guide our Mission, a day at Heart’s Home is full of events that are not sched­uled.

The source of our Mission: Community life and Prayer

We try to reserve moments to share with the com­mu­nity what hap­pened during the day. One evening per week is usu­ally meant to be spent in com­mu­nity.

However, the very essence of our Mission remains prayer. It is con­tem­pla­tion which reveals to us the meaning of each event, the beauty of each face, the dig­nity of each person."We learn to see Christ, espe­cially in the faces of those with whom he him­self wished to be iden­ti­fied: the hungry, the thirsty, the for­eigners, the sick, the pris­oners…”.

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