Holidays with the last

Four youths from Albacete explains why they have decided to be missionaries in the summer

This summer four youths from the diocese of Albacete will go on mission. Through several missionary institutions – dioceses, religious orders, associations – the four youths will travel to foreign Countries, moved by the joy to proclaim the Gospel and work for human promotion. In Guatemala and in Santo Domingo. Mari Carmen Alfaro is a member of the working group for guidance at the Educational Foundation Francisco Coll of the Dominican Sisters of via Salamanca, in Albacete. She has two children and has always wanted a missionary experience. She will serve in a school in Teleman, Guatemala. The teachers in the school of the Dominican nuns “Our Lady of the Rosary”, Alejandra Roca, and from the “Hail Mary” institute, Mercedes and Miguel Martínez, will spend a month in the “Armando Rosemberg Boarding-school” in the Sabana Perdida neighbourhood of Santo Domingo. Last year Miguel was in Bolivia, and now he wants to repeat the experience of a different mission with his girlfriend and with his sister. Winning over egoism. “At times, comfort makes us egoistic and makes us believe we have a right to everything. We feel the need to help all those who don’t lead a comfortable life like we do”, said Alejandra Roca. “Moreover – she went on – we believe this experience will help us grow as individuals, in terms of values and activities which today are unfortunately being lost. The question we should ask ourselves is: why shouldn’t we live this kind of experience?” “We travel to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, with the religious of the Divine Master – said Mercedes Martínez -. Our mission will consist in taking care of our boarding home Armando Rosemberg’. Children without a family or from indigent families are also housed in the school”. There are many tasks: “We will be visiting the families to get a picture of the situation, we will support the building of a new school wing and we will visit other communities in which missions operate”. Missionary formation. “Our missionary formation – said Miguel Martínez – began last year, in the diocese’s missionary group. We meet once a month in the parish of the Good Shepherd to provide answers to our missionary concerns”. Xaverian missionaries “are tasked with leading the course. There is another similar group in Hellín. We would like to invite all those who have a missionary yearning to join us”, he added. During the meetings “we provide missionary formation, we talk of missionary activity, of current events. Many missionaries take part in the initiative to share their personal life and faith experience”. Not only: in addition to being part of the group, to those who take part in missionary activity with a religious congregation “we also provide a brief formation course on the site of destination and on the concrete needs of the mission of Santo Domingo”. Spiritual enrichment. “I am leaving for a village in Guatemala called Teleman, an educational centre where Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation offer a service to the Maya-Q’eqchi population of the Polochic region, in Verapaz, in the north of the Country, providing a home to children from poor families”, said Mari Carmen Alfaro. As regards the nuns’ activity she explained: “Our mission can be summarised in a dream transformed into a project by our founder, Father Coll: to enlighten the darkness of ignorance with the sound light of our doctrine. For our religious congregation it’s the main feature proposed to us by the school as a privileged place for the proclamation of the Good News: Jesus has come to us to give us life in abundance”. Mari Carmen will work in a school: “There, I will continue my current activity with the Educational Foundation Francisco Coll ‘Our Lady of the Rosary’ in Albacete: to take care of pupils in need, share the experience of teachers, speak with the families, discuss with youths about alcohol, drugs, sexuality, seeking to cooperate with the nuns’ mission”. From this experience “I hope to receive a personal enrichment that will stem from contacts with other people and cultures, also at spiritual level. I believe it will be very gratifying to distance myself from my present lifestyle, from comfort, from frenzy, which sometimes prevents me from reflecting on the meaning of what I do”.

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