Tag Archive for Peru

With Mary and Joseph on the way to the Nativity

LMC PeruTrue joy is born out of love. Only when we dare to live by love we allow God to be born in us turning our heart into his crib. Only when we believe in the mystery of Jesus we are truly happy. Happiness comes out of a heart that, a little at the time, has gone and has been falling in love with God. To acknowledge that God exists is to be certain that we never walk alone and the joy to know that he walks with us and daily transforms our lives. The journey is not as simple as the words we use, it is demanding. It demands an effort on our part, that we start walking, that we move out of ourselves and, like Mary and Joseph, we walk to the Galilee of our hearts looking for the best place to be reborn with Jesus. Because Jesus is alive and comes to us.

Like Mary, we harbor many fears, anxieties and uncertainties but, inspired by her example we repeat our Yes each day. Accepting to be a mother, Mary gave up all her plans in order to do the will of God. Even though it was not part of her plan to be the one chosen by God, she accepted. Like Mary, let us entrust our lives to God’s hands.

St. Joseph inspires us to accept God’s project for us despite the difficulties and challenges. It was not easy for Joseph to understand that Mary was pregnant with the Son of God. He reached the point of wanting to leave her secretly, but after hearing the angel he gave himself completely. The family of Nazareth teaches us to live in community. Mary and Joseph, as community, knew how to live the incarnation in their own lives. It is not easy to follow God’s will in community, but they understood that, when God calls, touching our hearts, our life will never be the same. Our Yes opens the door to many more marvels, not only in our own lives but also in the lives of others. In prayer they found the courage they needed to accomplish their mission joyfully and confidently. In moments of prayer we open the doors of our hearts and homes so that God may come and daily he may tell us which path we must follow. Prayer is the basis of community and through it we consecrate our lives to the Lord. Let us live this Christmas, remembering what José Tolentino Mendonça said: “We are the crib, it is within us that Jesus is born.” Let us prepare our hearts and lives to be the home where Jesus will be born.

Paula and Neuza, CLM in Peru.

To be here. With them and among them!

Arequipa

We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Only add that in this place, lost in between the volcanoes Chachani and Misti, there live a humble people with whom now we share our lives.

Along our still early journey, many are the faces that are already imprinted in us. At times it is because the lack of humanity is so evident that, taken to the extreme, it leads to death. We have already heard many stories of violence not only in words, but also through the living witness of those who daily fight for change. Why is it that in this country, Peru, there are some of the highest levels of machismo in the world. In this essay by Manu Tessinari we can come to know this reality more deeply:

“Peru is a country of machismo, a lot of machismo.

In Peru, an adolescent girl may be beaten by her father if she is caught having sexual relations with her boyfriend. Here, an incarcerated woman does not have a right to conjugal visits. In the public health system, it is forbidden to give the “day after” pills to patients who were victims of rape.

Something more absurd? In Peru, if a woman is abandoned by her husband and does not accept divorce, the man can start a new life and register all the children from his new partner. The woman cannot. The law stipulates that the child of this woman legally belongs to the former husband (protected by the bonds of marriage) and a biological father needs to go through a lengthy and complicated legal process to register him.

Out of every 10 Peruvian women, six are victims of psychological violence and two of physical violence at the hands of their partners. About 16% of the people (men and women) believe that the fault is always with the woman, including 3.7% who believe that women DESERVE to be beaten and 3.8% DO NOT see a problem if the man forces relations on his partner.

People are great workers. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Information (INEI), 95.4% of Peruvian women have a job, mostly in the servant sector. On the average, a Peruvian female earns ONE THIRD less than a male doing the same work. Unfortunately, only 36% of females go to school to the end and only a little more than 16% end up concluding university studies. And all this in a country with 15,800,000 women, namely, 49.9% of the population.”

The lives of people going by our door do not leave us indifferent, and even though this is the reality, we bring them the joy of a Gospel which is not only ours, but a Gospel that fiercely demands to be taken into the world, taken to the extreme peripheries of it.

Do not be afraid to go meet these people, these situations. Do not be blocked by prejudice, by habits, by inflexible mental and pastoral attitudes, by the infamous “it has always been done this way.” But we can only go to the peripheries if we hold the Word of God in our hearts and walk with the Church, like St. Francis did. Otherwise, we are just proclaiming ourselves, and not the Word of God, and this is not good and does not benefit anyone. We are not the saviors of the world: The Lord saves it! (Pope Francis)

And here is where we feel called to live with them and among them. Here is where we cease to be ourselves in order to become living instruments at the service of Jesus Christ in Peru.

ArequipaThe Community of Ayilu,

Neuza and Paula, CLM in Peru

Mission on the other side of the Atlantic

LMC Peru

To have faith is to sign a blank page and le God write on it what he wants (St. Augustine).

The same way, mission means to allow us to be guided by the Holy Spirit who accompanies us and waits for us. We came to this journey with all that we are and this way we left. We carried in our hearts all those we love and are part of us. They sent us here and they will accompany for the rest of our lives, for this is what love demands. We left at dawn and we reached Peru also at dawn. Aware of the length of our journey we found strength in the tight embraces we immediately received. We reached the land that, for the next several year we will call home.

They were waiting for us at the entrance to the airport and received us with joy. We shared our names and our charism.

Outside, we were received by a fine and penetrating rain, and in this whirlwind of sensations we stepped on Peruvian soil for the first time.

LMC Peru

It was a time of primary knowledge, stripped of our own selves, we took the first steps with these people who welcomed so lovingly. It’s us, from the other side of the Atlantic, living the mission in the style of St. Daniel Comboni.

To know the CLM meant to get to know our Peruvian CLM family. Each one of them shared with us a little about themselves, their witness of life and of faith. While talking, eating, drinking and laughing we received part of themselves and shared part of ourselves, joyfully, certain that all these lives converge in God.

With the certainty of what has been and that God is calling us to this mission. Let us walk together sure that we will reach where they are waiting for us.

LMC PeruNeuza and Paula, CLM Peru

Ayllu CLM Community in Arequipa Peru

To arrive at the mission is to arrive home. Not the one that saw us being born, but another that now welcomes us, where we now sleep, grow and love. To arrive at the mission is to reach the people. Not the one that saw us being born, but another who receives us with open arms as if we were its daughters coming home. To arrive at the mission is to embrace another people. Not the one who saw us being born, but the one who receives us with open arms and prepares to grow with us. Each person is a world and has a world to share with us. In each person we meet God and it is this God and this world that today we want to show to you. It is in this panorama where each day we awake with hope and fall asleep blessed. This mission is not ours, it belongs to all and we hope that you will walk through each day and each story with us.

Paula y Neuza. CLM in Peru

Annual Assembly of the Comboni Lay Missionaries, CLM, Peru.

LMC PeruThe Comboni Lay Missionaries of Peru have had in Lima the Annual Assembly in our headquarters in Chorrillos, from February 24 to 26. It was attended by 11 active members, two postulants and two Comboni priests. Among the assistants, two were from Arequipa and two from Trujillo.
The main objective was to know and study the Conclusions Document of the CLM American Continental Meeting, held in Mexico, September 2016. We try to adapt it to our reality, and according to it, we have taken several agreements to start living it as soon as possible.
The main topics covered were: Identity of the CLM, Peruvian reference group, mission fields, mission ad gentes, communication among us and through the media, economy and other issues related to the current context of Peru.
We have seen in this meeting that we need to advance more in terms of the identity of the Comboni Lay Missionary. It was emphasized in the different dialogues that being a Comboni laity is different from being a member of another parish group. The charisma of Daniel Comboni must always be present in our activities.
In mission´s field, we agreed that it is necessary to give continuity in the places where we are present; we decided that all the CLM (Trujillo and Lima) will maintain as a priority: San Martin de Pangoa in the central jungle, Villa Ecologica in Arequipa and one in “La sierra” of Peru.
We also conclude that it is necessary for the lay Comboni to witness their missionary experience in all spheres, using social networks as means of missionary animation, diffusion and promotion of CLM vocation CML. Likewise, we are called to spread in all our activities the missionary spirit of St. Daniel Comboni.
We concluded the Assembly with the solemn Sunday mass, in which we pledged to redouble our efforts to live better our missionary charisma.

LMC Peru

CLM Peru

The Fourth day of our CLM continental meeting of America

LMC America

We have begun our morning invoking the presence of Saint Daniel Comboni so that we as CLM may live and follow a style of life that he lived.  We have begun the first part of the morning with some presentations of mission experience of some of our CLM.  Carol and Minerva share their mission experience and work that they do among the Misteco village, in Mexico.  They describe and share the difficulties, obstacles, limitations and fruitful gifts they have both experienced and received.  Their work among the village of the Mistecos is to accompany them by being present and being there with them.  Carol and Minerva both live and share their lives with the village of the Misteco, respecting their culture and working together among them without excluding their culture values, religion, and way of doing things. Then we have a guess speaker, Juan Manuel Garcia a professor coming from a Pastoral School of the indigenous people in Mexico City, whom gives CLM formation in the area of pastoral work within this people.  In between our formation class we were assigned group work, it enabled for some dialogue, and reflection of this type of pastoral work.  The various groups coincided with some thoughts such as obstacles, limitations, and realizing the importance of this kind of work.  The main focus and teaching that the CLM remained with is that “God’s heart is opened to all that want to know of him” which was a very enriching knowledge.  In the second part of the day we have two psychologist speakers, they provided useful information and knowledge on how to communicate more effectively among each other (CLM).  They used group interaction, as a dynamic to bring us together and practice our communication skills that we already possess in a more effective manner using strategies and methods.

LMC America

At the end of our day we concluded with Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament and were infused with an explosion of gratitude.

(Valentín and Yessenia)