The Home of the Mother Holy Week Encounter in the United States was held at “Camp Shalom.” There were about 170 of us all together. The Encounter was led by Fr. Henry and Fr. Dominic, Servant Priests of the Home of the Mother. It went very well and we hope it will bear much fruit.
This past Holy Week, the 4th Holy Week Encounter with the Home of the Mother in Ecuador was celebrated in Playa Prieta.
As in previous years, it began with the Chrism Mass in the Cathedral of Portoviejo. Fr. Juan, Servant Priest of the Home of the Mother, was able to concelebrate with Archbishop Mons. Voltolini along with the rest of the priests from Manabi.
On Wednesday the 20th of April, there was a lot going on in our house in Lumezzane as we finished up the last preparations for the upcoming Holy Week Encounter. Some of the women helped us to do a general clean up before it all started, while others did the grocery shopping; some young people came to help with the decoration; and the sisters were adding the final touches…
The 29th Holy Week Encounter in Spain took place in Valencia. A total of 150 of us came together at the Dominican Monastery in the town of Torrente, now home to the Servant Sisters. Many families attended the Encounter and for most of them, it was their first Holy Week Encounter with the Home of the Mother.
When I began writing this little summary I couldn’t help but think of the saying "Life is full of surprises." Well that’s what happened to me in Ecuador; right when I thought I could predict what to expect I was blindsided by the unforeseen.
For the past few years, the candidates and youth of the Home of the Mother in Jacksonville, Florida, USA, accompanied by friends, have made walking pilgrimages during Lent and Advent to the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche. The pilgrimage makes its way from Ponte Vedra, Florida, to St. Augustine, Florida and is about 15 miles (24 km) long.
"Love me and make me Loved" - This is the theme for HM Kids this lent.
On the HM kids website, you'll find all you need to help you live this Lent well - from the Stations of the Cross, to some great ideas of sacrifices you can offer up to console the heart of Jesus this lent.
On Sunday, March 27, the Servant Sisters in Rome hosted a group of young women from college campuses here in Rome for a Lenten Retreat.
Everything began with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 10:00 am, immediately followed by the first meditation, which was on our vocation to holiness and the importance of our Baptism, along with the life of grace and our being children of God.
This year we had our third camp in Ecuador. 77 girls were able to participate, plus Eliana Palma and Dulce who were the leaders.
In the days before the camp we situated out little tents, which we borrowed from some friends, in a farm not far from Chone. The site was small but welcoming. On the farm there was a small house and outside there were showers and bathrooms, but the best part about site was the river.
A tidal wave of graces has overtaken Alcalá de Guadaíra (Seville) and the community of Servant Sisters here. This past March 15, the WYD Cross visited this humble Land of Mary. Alcalá was blessed with this gift from Divine Providence.
For 6 months now, here at the "Maria Inmaculada" School in Belmonte, we've been saving up and working hard to try and raise money to go to WYD this summer.
We started thinking of ideas to raise money. What could we do? We can't work - we're underage minors and moreover, we're in the middle of an unemployment crisis. Raffles are all too common...But, we didn't give up. We knew we'd find a way. All of a sudden, a former student from our school came up with a great idea: making FELT PINS! They are now in style and easy to make!
The community of Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother in Mostoles (Madrid, Spain) hold weekend retreats for girls and families almost every month. March 5-6, we had a retreat with 22 girls and 6 Sisters. On Sunday, other girls who had not been able to come on Saturday, joined in.
Once again, Ecuador has been blessed. On February 22, 2011, Fr. Rafael, Mother Ana, and Sr. Kelly Jo (who was visiting us for the first time) arrived in Playa Prieta. Their schedule was fairly tight and everything was ready.
We ate lunch and that same afternoon, around 5, the whole group of girls and women began to arrive. There were a total of 39 of them, from Chone, Playa Prieta, Pueblo Nuevo, y Portoviejo, who had all come for Spiritual Exercises.
February 2, 2011. The Servant Brothers serve the Holy Father
Everything that took place was completely from the Lord's gracious hand. In an authentic Home, one receives everything as a gift, with gratitude. And yet, even so, there are things that surpass our imagination. And so it was this past February 2, at 5 pm, when four Servant Brothers of the Home found ourselves in the Sacristy of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, with the mitre and staff of Pope Benedict in our hands, ready to serve him in this celebration of the Universal Church.
On Saturday, February 26, taking advantage of the visit we were paid by Father Rafael, Mother Ana, and Sister Kelly Jo, we had a get-together in Playa Prieta. Members and friends of the Home from Chone, Canuto, and San Vicente began to arrive around 9 am, along with others from Playa Prieta...all together: 150 people.
Saturday. A day full of activities for girls in Alcalá de Guadaíra, Seville (Spain). A grey sky with no sign of the sun making a guest appearance. Ominous clouds prey in the distance. For the time being, the rain had resisted. It was understandable that only a few girls would come. They started coming, one by one...until there were 46 of them. How brave!
On Sunday, February 20, the Servant Sisters in Rome led a day pilgrimage for college girls from Rome's various campuses to visit the places assciated with the life, martyrdom, and death of St. Maria Goretti located in the area of Nettuno, a small seaside town about an hour and a half southwest of Rome. We were a group of 19 all together.
In the very moment in which our beloved Holy Father, Benedict XVI announced in Sydney that the following World Youth Day would take place in Madrid (Spain), a group of 30 young people of the Home of the Mother from Chone and Playa Prieta, Manabí, Ecuador, started dreaming of going. It wasn’t going to be easy, as we did not have the funds to make it happen, but our excitement at the thought of being near the Pope got the better of us and now, nearly 3 years later, we are about to wake up from our dream to find that it has come true! Since April of last year, with the help of the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother, we have been working non-stop to try and raise all the money necessary to go to Madrid and participate, along with the other thousands of young people in this encounter of the Holy Father with the Church’s future.
On Sunday 20th February, the Servant Brothers in Rome got together with boys from St Thomas More College who are spending a semester there as part of their university study program and went on an excursion to visit the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino, founded by St Benedict himself in the 6th century.
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