After many ups and downs we finally succeeded in moving to Brooklyn on April 12, thanks to the help of many friends!
Our new neighborhood is called Fort Greene after the name of the park just across the street. We are living in the rectory of St Michael/St Edwards’s church located in the middle of Projects in an Afro-American neighborhood. We received a very warm welcome from all the parishioners who had been waiting for us for a long time. Many were eager to introduce us to their friends or to help us in any way they could. We are also very proud to be part of the Volley team of the parish, encouraged by Father Bob our pastor!
We are close to different Universities, Hospitals and Care Centers. We are also not far from Dumbo, known for its artistic life as well as the well-known Brooklyn Academy of Music. All these different realities are true challenges for our mission here and give us many new opportunities to spread the Charism of Compassion.
We started to visit two Care Centers hosting around 400 residents each; where the need of a simple Presence is welcomed. “Please come back!” is what we keep hearing during our visits. Praying the Rosary in the streets, we also found out about a shelter for women where we like to stop and talk with some of the residents sitting outside the building. One of them likes to say a decade of the Rosary with us and has an amazing faith.
Some other residents are very broken and don’t see the meaning of their lives any more. I remember one of my first encounters with a 40 year old woman who was defining herself as a “f… homeless piece of s..!" It was so painful to receive these words in my heart and to realize how much she was serious about it. At the end of our talk, she finally accepted to be looked at and smiled. I told her that from now on her life was important to at least one person in the world and that I will keep her in my prayers.
We are also visiting some people in the neighborhood who are very lonely. We started to bring Holy Communion to a few homebound people living in the projects close to the Cathedral of St James.
We thank you for keeping us in your prayers so that we can always be more faithful to the calling of the Holy Spirit in our new mission in Brooklyn."
Servant of God’s Presence