Last September we welcomed four new young men at the City of Boys. All of them are willing to stay for a whole year of experience with us. This is what we call the ‘Year of Saint Augustine’; during this time they stay at the service of the poorest while listening to God’s will for them.
They are: Louis-Marie Lemenager (20 years old, French), Willy Mauser (18 years old, German), Gabriel Braendle (21 years old, Swiss), and Fabian Caluori (23 years old, Swiss). Once again, God has seen the suffering of His people and heard their cry (cf. Ex. 3,7). Our Heavenly Father has seen the suffering of so many poor people in the Andean mountain range, crying not only because of their material needs, but also for the lack of generous young missionaries willing to leave all behind in order to share with the most needy the bread of life – the Gospel. Just like in the old times when God sent Moses, ‘saved from the waters’, in the same way he sends us today to all these young people, saved from ‘the waters of the world’ that always threaten to drown in the hearts of men, their desire for God and the flame of the Divine vocation.
As always, during their first few weeks, these young people have the opportunity to experience many different groups of children and apostolates, so that we get to know their skills and capabilities. Then we allocate them to some more fixed apostolate related to the two main works we have here, which are the education of children and the evangelization of the villages of the Andean mountain range. We speak of ‘work’ and not of ‘mission’, recalling how Saint Teresa of Calcutta was asked by someone regarding the greatness of her mission, that is, their work with the lepers, the dying, and the abandoned… and Mother Teresa answered, ”But this is not my mission!
My mission is to love Jesus and to bring other people to love Him. My job is to help the lepers, the dying…” Therefore, also for our young people, we must not confuse the ‘mission’ of loving Jesus and bringing others to love Him, with the different jobs we do. That is why the young people who come to spend some time with us to have a mission experience are also called to live intense moments of prayer, including: Holy Mass and daily Eucharistic Adoration, the prayer of the Holy Rosary, Lectio Divina, some time for personal prayer, and the Saint Ignatius spiritual exercises at our contemplative community of Our Lady of Silence. Nobody can give what they do not have; we need to fill ourselves with Jesus and His love in order to be able to give it to others.
During the ‘Year of Saint Augustine’, the young people receive an adequate formation centred above all on the Charism of the Movement, through the study of the many documents written over the years by our founder Fr. Giovanni Salerno msp.
It would give us great joy to know that these new brothers can count on your prayerful support. “The harvest is plentiful, and the laborers are few. Pray that the owner of the harvest will send more workers”.
May God bless you.