René González, ARCORES Brazil
United to God and to your life
This year I would like to introduce you to something new, but I almost don’t know how to express it.
The ARCORES International Network wants to be close to you, to your life, your hopes, sorrows, and joys.
That is why our Heart Solidarity Campaign this year 2022-23 wants to show you that the Augustinian Recollect Family is united to God and to your life.
Union is Communion
For us, this union is called Communion.
It is communion because I need you and I want to learn with you. I want to walk with you to listen to you and to be listened to. I would like to show you my poverty and at the same time my faith. I also want to be that friend who heals your wounds and encourages you to open your heart and your horizons. I also hope that you will forgive my weaknesses and be understanding with me when I do not know how to understand or have a good solution.
In the end, it is about walking together and talking to me about your life. It is said that we all like to talk about our lives, but we are also sometimes shy. I always miss when I was little and loved that we all enjoyed traveling, playing, and singing together as a family. And, most of all, that delicious food that our families know how to prepare with love. Sometimes I wonder if everyone has that kind of nostalgia or those special experiences. I wish we all had that opportunity sometime.
You are not far away
Speaking of being together, our Augustinian Recollect Family is present in your life through different projects and people in various countries, but at the same time, you are close in our way of seeing and feeling. You are not far away.
Those who are in the Philippines and Sierra Leone are not far away. One of the things I do naturally in my house when it gets dark is to turn on the light, but not all people have that facility.
Solar Dream in the Philippines and Sierra Leone
In fact, the Philippines (Asia) and Sierra Leone (Africa) have a “Solar Dream”. It is a project that aims to provide light and energy through a solar kit to families displaced by natural and social catastrophes in remote communities.
Maybe you haven’t heard that, in Sierra Leone, most of the houses have no light and, when it gets dark, all the adults and children go around the village bonfire to tell stories and traditions until the fire is consumed and they go to sleep.
Did you know that most children study with candles and lanterns? Our project “Solar Dream” will illuminate the lives and homes of these people.
Migrants in Argentina
Those who leave their homeland and look for a better future are not far away. If we ask them, they will often say in tears that there is not a day that goes by that they do not remember their relatives, roots, and traditions.
In Argentina, the “Migrants” project is in Buenos Aires, in the Parish of Our Lady of Consolation. It aims to help improve the socio-economic and family situation of migrants through activities and workshops that allow them to obtain resources to support their families. We hope that they find solace in their worries and sleepless nights. We are sure that Our Lady of Consolation will always be present in their lives.
United with Venezuela
Those who live in Venezuela and belong to the “United with Venezuela” Program are not far away. There is a great commitment and effort of the communion of all the Augustinian Recollect Family present in the country. Despite the enormous difficulties, they make it possible to help the needy population through food, health, and education services. It may not appear on television, but most people do not fill their bellies and there are high rates of malnutrition and infant mortality.
Schooling in Guatemala and Venezuela
The children of Guatemala and Venezuela are not far away. We can always think of them as our children too. The project “Support for the schooling of children at risk of social exclusion” aims to provide quality education and enable them to complete their studies. Nothing is more beautiful than seeing a child’s growth physically, spiritually, and intellectually.
Finally, I would like to remind you that our motto for this year’s Solidarity Heart Day is “Together Transforming Lives”. Truly this communion and transformation cannot exist without you. I need you to have a heart full of tenderness, compassion, and concern for others. That is the message of Jesus when he says: “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly”.