Benefit Lunch and Missionary Festival in Villalbilla (Madrid), Spain, May 7, 2017.
Sunday, May 7, in addition to being Good Shepherd Sunday and Mother’s Day in Spain, a Missionary Festival was organized in Villalbilla's town Pavilion. It was to raise funds for the reconstruction of the Church in Rio Chico, Manabí (Ecuador), which was one of the provinces most affected by the earthquakes that occurred in April of last year.
In the three months that took to prepare it, Fr. Joseph SHM and Fr. Juan SHM counted on the collaboration and the generosity of many people and establishments of Villalbilla. The Town Hall of Villalbilla also helped by lending the Pavilion and some bars to distribute the benefit lunch.
The benefit lunch was at 2:30 in the afternoon. With about 6 large pans, the women from the village cooked some ribs with potatoes for the adults and macaroni with sausages and tomato sauce for the children. Using the meal tickets, they raffled several gifts.
At 3:30, we had a scavenger hunt and a few games for the kids, as well as face painting and balloon twisting. Finally, at 5:00 in the afternoon, we started the Missionary Festival. The Musical band of Villalbilla and several choirs from Villalbilla and Zulema participated (Kelaia, Kerygma, the Popular Choir of Villalbilla, the Christ the Light Choir, the Alborada School Choir), and several groups from Guadalupe Lucas' Dance Club. Brother Greggy gave his testimony about the missions accompanied by a skit performed by the children present there. Fr. Rene did 10 juggling tricks to represent 10 Hail Marys for the Virgin Mary, Our Mother. Around 7:00 p.m., we connected by video conferencing with the Servant Brothers who were in the missions in Rio Chico. Many from the village of Villalbilla, Zulema, and Los Hueros already knew Fr. Matthew and Brother Joseph Bloomer, who are now missionaries in Rio Chico, together with Fr. Kevin and Brother William. After all the performances, we played 50/50 Bingo. All the winners donated what they had won for the reconstruction of the Rio Chico Church. The more you give, the more you receive! Many collaborated with overflowing generosity, without expecting to receive anything in return, and all for the poor. They have sowed great charity and have harvested joy and unity in the village.
Here are some details: 11 women peeled 100 kilos of potatoes for the event. One stayed several hours (until past 3 in the morning) kneading and baking cookies for the event and for the cause. They raised nearly 6 thousand euros for the project of rebuilding the Parish Church of Rio Chico in Manabí, Ecuador.
-Happy Mother’s Day, Virgin Mary! Here, your children give you gifts of charity, joy and the unity of a village that works for the poorest of the poor.
“Whatsoever you do to them, you do unto me,” says the Lord.