Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit From Grosse Pointe Farms, MI – Mission in Argentina: 2010- 2011
I first heard of Heart’s Home as a sophomore at Boston College. I was stunned by the radicality of their life and mission: to be missionaries of compassion. In my sophomoric pretense, I judged them as idealistic and impractical. What about projects and initiatives – helping people in tangible, quantifiable ways? It was a classic case of missing the obvious. In the end, it was Heart’s Home that judged me. It shattered my ideas about charity and real success. What, after all, was it that I cherished most in life? The friendship of those who care about me, the time they spend with me, their continued presence in my life, their love and compassion.
Heart’s Home is a school of love. I entered this school for 13 months in Argentina in 2010 and I will be a student for the rest of my life. The fundamental image is the heart, that vessel that receives and gives and throbs with life. I will never forget the kids of Villa Jardin, our slum outside of Buenos Aires. I remember their hunger for our attention yet also their ability to cheer us up, to run and jump on us as we returned to our street after a long day. I learned from these kids that the child’s heart, for all its naïveté, is the true model for a healthy heart. They hunger to receive and they give freely…and they are completely honest.
Along with opening my eyes to the joys of life, Heart’s Home awakened me to the universality of suffering. Here, too, in the United States, people suffer in silence behind closed doors and grab on to anything to fill the void. This is where we are all called – to the heart of the matter where we can meet our neighbors in their suffering. What we are most hungry for in this life is love – to love and to be loved. If, God willing, I become a priest, I will be at the gateway of the heart in so many ways for this giving and receiving to take place.