On July 18 -21, 2019, thirty youth ministry members, together with Friars Tullio PASTORELLI and Andrés TOSI and the postulant Benjamín CASTRO, carried out a winter mission in the parish of San Clemente in Curicó, Chile.
Following the example of St. Francis and St. Albert Hurtado, the young people engaged in personal and community formation on the first day, then dedicated themselves to proclaiming the Word of God to the people of the “Villa Arcoiris” neighborhood of the parish of San Clemente, a very small and problematic place comprised of around a hundred houses.
While one group of young people took part in formation, another group, in collaboration with the municipal authorities, built a prefabricated house for a poor family in the San Manuel sector.
On the second and third days, the young people engaged in social work and continued to pray together and participate in Eucharistic adoration in order to renew the energies of the souls and the hearts of these missionaries.
The young people had the privilege of getting to know every person living in this area and were able to share their faith and experiences with them as young people, Christians, Franciscans and missionaries. They also visited the Hogar San Juan Apóstol retirement home for elderly people and participated in the “children’s afternoon”, a time dedicated to children on Friday afternoon.
The young missionaries also met with the young people of the community of San Clemente, to guide them during the formation session held on Saturday afternoon. The session was about one’s vocation to a better life and the ability to make good and responsible decisions for the future. Next, the life of Saint Francis was presented, noting how he could find God in everyday life. There was talk about the ability everyone has to say “Yes” to the Lord when he calls, and the beauty of a life lived as pilgrims, with a purpose and a goal, not as wanderers who walk aimlessly and without meaning. The formation session ended with a talk about the risks and dangers adolescents face and how to tackle and overcome them.
Finally, at the end of the winter mission, Mass was celebrated on Saturday in the Villa Arcoiris Chapel and on Sunday, July 21, in the parish of San Clemente. On that day, the procession image that accompanied the young people throughout the mission was presented, an image that indelibly marked each of their hearts.