National Encounter of the Home of the Mother in Chone (Ecuador), January 10, 2016.
On January 10, the Home of the Mother in Ecuador met in Chone to celebrate what we named the “National Encounter of the Home of the Mother”. Approximately 200 people gathered between Servant Brothers, Servants Sisters, families and young people.
The idea arose in Guayaquil in one of the study groups while commenting on the topic of indulgences for this Year of Mercy. The idea came up to make a pilgrimage to Chone since the parish of San Cayetano, where the Servant sisters work in Chone, is one of the places established to gain the indulgence for the Year of Mercy, walking through the holy door. It was said and it was done; we didn’t need to encourage people much. We thought it would be nice for all to gain the indulgence together, to take advantage and learn more about the origins of the Home in Ecuador, for all its members to get to know each other and also to celebrate the birthday of our founder. In order for it work the three communities from the Home in Ecuador (Chone, Playa Prieta and Guayaquil) got down to work.
The trip there and back to Chone from Guayaquil can seem a little long to take, but when one’s heart is full of love and excitement, every sacrifice seems small. When we arrived in Chone the first thing we did was gain the indulgence. In front of the Holy Door of the parish there one of the sisters gave us an explanation on what the Jubilee is; we prayed for the intentions of the Pope, and we entered the Church through this door, symbol of Christ.
Then we had the celebration of the Holy Mass celebrated by Father Dominic, one of the servant priests who is in the community of Guayaquil. In his homily he reminded us of the early days of the Home 13 years ago, when the first four sisters arrived in Chone. He also spoke of the apostolic work done throughout these years, and how the different communities were founded. Similarly, he called upon all the members of the Home, so that we pray for Fr. Rafael, our founder, on the day of his birthday, without his yes it would not have been possible to accomplish all this work. Thank you, Fr. Rafael!
At the end of the Eucharist, there was a time of prayer in which we meditated on a commentary by Fr. Rafael on the Gospel passage of the dry fig tree. This vivid parable speaks of faith, prayer and fidelity to what the Lord asks of us. It is we who either become dry or are fruitful, and it is a big responsibility to be the foundation for those who will come after, soaking up the charism so as to be able to transmit it. The Home of the Mother is not only for a specific country; Our Mother wants to manifest herself to all mankind through us.
We prayed for The Home of the Mother of the whole world and gave thanks for the privilege of having been chosen by Our Mother to be part of her gift.
And then it was time to eat. It was a great party presided over by the image of Our Mother. Even though we could not physically see Our Lady, we knew she was also among us. Then different people from the three communities gave their testimony and introduced themselves, because not everyone knew each other. It was very familiar and very nice. The young people were resin charge of serving all the tables. While eating dessert we had another time of reflection based on the letter that Father Rafael wrote to the first six members that began the Home, for which we should also be very grateful because of their fidelity.
We ended the meal in a very endearing way, singing to Our Mother and congratulating Father Rafael from Ecuador.
We hope that, with God’s grace, this day has been for his glory, and also a day to make us see, a little more, that the Home is a work of God and it is deep in the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Mother.