During this month of July, a group of young Americans (between the ages of 15 and 20), who have expressed the wish to get to know better the missionary reality, in order to extend their horizons in the discernment of their vocations, will arrive in Cusco from Buffalo (New York). They are young people of faith and strong spiritual life (the majority of them belong to Home Schools) who have begun what they call Project Matthew 25,40, because of the corresponding biblical text:
“I assure you that whatever you did to the least of your brothers, that you did unto me” (Mt. 25,40)
This is the third year that this project has been put into practice; obviously those who come are different each year. The young men will do their experience in the “City of Boys” in Andahuaylillas, and the young women will do theirs in the Sisters’ Home.
This is partly sponsored by a benefactor of ours, who wants the young people to get to know the missions, and partly paid for by the young people themselves, who dedicate themselves to various activities throughout the year, in order to earn the money for travelling. Those responsible for the organisation of the group are Jean and Patrick O’Brien, who have been preparing for the journey with monthly prayer meetings, during which they also gave substantial explanations about the work of the Movement to the young people.
As the journey approached, the young people had sessions of theology of mission in Buffalo, so that they were prepared spiritually and intellectually, in order to be able to understand our work. Father Giuseppe msp (Italian) was in charge of this.
Once in Peru, the plan is three-fold:
A) that they get to know our work very closely, as an example of missionary work.
B) that they get to know the painful conditions of life that many of our brothers, participating in some missions in the High Cordillera.
C) that they get to know a bit of the beauty of the Peruvian and Andean culture in Cusco, which does not cease to be instructive from a religious point of view.
The aim of all this experience for the young people is to breathe the missionary air so that they can make a more serious and generous commitment to the poor, which could be the dedication of a year of their lives to the service of the poor and to vocational discernment, or, if it is the will of God, the total dedication of their whole lives in a religious vocation.
It is worth building bridges between the developed world and the poor countries for the good of both. Those who live in rich countries find themselves more and more enslaved by their comfort and wellbeing, such that this contact with poverty, enriched by Christ, may become a true occasion of conversion.