• August 15, 2014

Peru: 20 years of Compassionate Presence in ‘Barrios Altos’

by Dolores C., Argentinian mis­sionary in Lima. Dolores and her com­mu­nity have long been preparing for and orga­nizing this 20th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of one of our Heart’s Home Centers in the Peruvian cap­ital.

“On Saturday June 7 we began our cel­e­bra­tions at 3:00 pm. Surrounded by many of our friends, we became pil­grims along our streets honoring Santa Rosa de Lima, the patron saint of our house. When we arrived to the local parish, our bishop cel­e­brated a thanks­giving Mass, accom­pa­nied by our vis­itor, Father Lorenzo. It was such a joyful liturgy! From the many friends who joined us, more than a few have never been seen attending Mass before. After the Liturgy, we headed back to the street in front of our house, where chairs, tables and a sce­nario for the party to follow had care­fully and beau­ti­fully been arrayed. You could feel the love with which every­thing had been taken care of!

It was a moving cel­e­bra­tion because it was true friend­ship that was being cel­e­brated. We were all filled with so many mem­o­ries: mem­o­ries of our friends, mem­o­ries of all the mis­sion­aries who once dwelt here. Our Heart’s Home com­mu­nity has been walking the path of life with all of these Peruvian friends, and they were here today to thank God for this pres­ence.

Edward (27) expressed the gen­eral atti­tude when, feeling proud and filled with excite­ment he exclaimed “When I was a child, Heart’s Home was my home: we were indeed truly loved here.” He recalled his tough child­hood and how the Heart’s Home mis­sion­aries had been sup­portive of him and his sib­lings when their father passed. Sitting next to him, his sister Sonia nods “We were indeed truly loved here!” Edward’s words hit me! Here is the essence of why we are here. We are here to love. Because we believe it: “love shall never fail.” (1Cor. 13)

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