A Bright Spot in Venezuela?
Hard to believe, but the Mission Helper Sisters in Venezuela report that God is at work even in the mist of the economic and political chaos.
Early last month, more than 400 people came to the celebration of the Patronal Feast; it was standing room only in the church. The people made soup—three huge cauldrons of it—and bread to feed the crowd.
Later in the month, the parish celebrated Children’s Day with 400 children and 300 adults. After the liturgy there were raffles and dances in honor of Our Lady. And, hamburgers for the children! – a rare treat in Venezuela these days, where any kind of protein is difficult to find.
The Sisters say that there was greater participation in all the activities this year. “Yes, people hunger for food,” says Sr. Rosa Toledo, but most of all they hunger for a connectiveness, and an opportunity to serve others and to serve God in the midst of this crisis.”
“People are suffering,” she says. “They lack even the basics. Yet we celebrate this feast so people can be more open to the love of God. The Spirit of the Lord helps us to make a difference in the world around us.”
People seek the gifts the Church has to offer; there are increased numbers of those seeking baptism, First Holy Communion, even marriage. And more focus on Gospel study.
“The presence of the Spirit is at work in a deeper way here,” says the Sister. “It helps us to count our blessings—but we are not blind to the suffering of our people. We keep praying out loud for a free and just Venezuela.”
The Sisters ask that we all join them in this prayer.