Step Up To The Plate- Get Involved!
The gathering also included presentations by two Augustinian Recollect friars, Jose Alberto Moreno and Manuel Herrero along with Ines Parrondo, coordinator of the Province’s Secretariat of Technology and Pablo Martinez who gave a thorough description of the importance of the implementation of graphs and logistics in its materials. Several of the meeting’s participants have, since 1999, been rather familiar with the social needs and projects of the Province, therefore being able to offer specific data.
Of the 21 participants, 18 were from Madrid, one from Seville, one from Salamanca and another from Zaragoza. Of those whom had previously participated in preceding meetings of volunteers, six had done so in the City of Los Niños, Costa Rica. Another three got their feet wet at the Comprehensive Development Recovery and Accompaniment Center (CARDI) of Mexico City, Mexico. Two others had past experience at Santa Monica Home in Fortaleza (Brazil) and two more in Brazil’s Amazon mission of Labrea. The Province is confident that an additional four individuals will soon also have the desire to contribute in future meetings of enthusiastic volunteers.
The motto of the meeting was “Step Up To The Plate and Get Involved!” Its sole purpose was of course to bring more and more people into action and service in Social Matters’ ministries. The first portion of the meeting consisted of a presentation in which the participants gave insight into the kind of life experiences they would like to bring into being but have not yet and they offered as well reasons why they have not yet been able to accomplish such goals. Fr. Jose Alberto Moreno, president of the Commission of Social Matters’ Apostolate, further added his knowledge of the presence of Augustinian Recollect communities in parts of the world plagued by dire poverty and lack of basic human rights.
For his part, Fr. Manuel discussed how volunteer work can admirably fit well within the Augustinian Recollect charism.
Professor Jesus Vazquez, of the Network of Solidarity and Educational Engineering, shared with the fellow participants the many ways and in the many places that Augustinian Recollect communities participate in these networks.
Ms. Parrondo spoke again, this time in greater detail of the numerous social projects of which the Order of Augustinian Recollects contributes. Prior Provincial Sergio Sanchez warmly thanked all of the people present at the meeting. Fray Sergio also opened up about his personal involvement with CARDI.
The meeting concluded with the participants opening up about their personal life experiences highlighting the harshness of the staggering number of poor men, women and children worldwide. Particular attention was made of Mexico City and of the dreadfulness there of so many young girls and boys having had to and still having to endure the hardship of abuse physical, sexual and emotional.
The meeting was an invaluable resource for understanding the difficulties of this world today and how that partaking in meetings such as these may provide healing to persons who suffer the heartbreaking effects of poverty, abuse, abandonment and fear.
There is, however, light in the darkness and that is because the Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine and the entire Order of Augustinian Recollects are determined to be beacons of hope by their full commitment to reaching out to our brothers and sisters in significant need.