THE THREE VISITS

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On previous occasions we spoke of visits to our Centre – some of them “official” – made by prominent persons in various fields: political, education, finances… This time we will speak of three other visits: first a symbolic one, then one spiritual, and lastly a physical visit.

Bienvenida a la Semana Santa (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Beginning of the Holy Week (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

The symbolic visit was made by the stork. It has been some time already since we have acquired a few “swine” inhabitants for our compound, within the sector of agriculture and breeding, which is being gradually developed in our Centre. Last March 6 we got the first births, thanks to the “stork of animals” that brought us 7 piglets ( 6 of them with dark spots, and one with a black paw and the rest of the body of the same colour).

La madre con sus crias (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

The mother-sow with her piglets (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

They have already been injected with the first vaccine and, after a little more than one month of life, all of them are enjoying perfect health. We intend to expand this activity (breeding), that will hopefully improve the nutritional aspect (in terms of proteins) and will get us closer to the goal -still a bit distant- of self-sufficiency.

Los que se van a bautizar precedidos de las "dançarinas" (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

The Baptism candidates, preceded by the “dançarinas” (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

Nuestros chavales con la vela del bautismo (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Our boys holding the candle of their Baptism (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

The spiritual visit was that of the Holy Spirit . Ten of our boys were baptized in our Centre during the Paschal Vigil. During that night – that was by no means fresh- they received “the water and the
Spirit”.

El Domingo de Ramos en la capilla (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

The Palm Sunday in our chapel (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

The spiritual visit was that of the Holy Spirit . Ten of our boys were baptized in our Centre during the Paschal Vigil. During that night – that was by no means fresh- they received “the water and the Spirit”.

It was a festive celebration, during which the little ones spent the time of the mass by making good use of the palm leaves.

Momento del bautismo (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

The moment of Baptism ( Photo : Lar São Jerónimo) 

It is interesting in fact to observe in how many different ways palm branches can be used: they serve to make baskets, to thatch roofs, and, after removing the leaves, they can also be used as sticks to stir the food when it is being cooked in large containers ( sometimes even in drums!)

The physical visit was paid by the new Bishop, D. João Carlos Nunes Hatoa, who was born in Beira in that famous year ’68, but has been living in the capital, Maputo, for many years. The visit was organized especially for those who live and study inside our Centre, rather than for those persons who come to pray on Sundays or the kids who attend catechism classes on Saturdays.

The Bishop arrived a few minutes before 9 a.m. and was welcomed by the two “padres” who are presently residing at the Centre.

Niños... y mayores en misa (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Children… and adults in church (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

Recibiendo las ofertas (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Receiving the gifts (Photo: Lar São Jerónimo)

Accompanied by drums, cymbals (that are called “gojos” in the local language) and even a
keyboard added a more lively and joyful character to the celebration. The offertory was marked
by the gift of a solemn chairs made by the students of the Centro de Formação Profissional; the
metal frame had been manufactured by the students of the Welding workshop, who also donated a bucket made by them; the armrests and he seats had been made by the students of the Carpentry and Stitching workshops.

Los niños también plantaron su acacia (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Also the children planted their own acacia tree (Photo byLar São Jerónimo)

An item that remained pending was a pizza to be baked by the students of the Cooking course (kitchen) for the evening party. All the groups were given a task: the choir was formed by the students of the Professional Formation Centre (mostly the female students), the dance team by little and young girls of the Christian Community; the readings and intercessory prayers were entrusted to the insiders of the Lar and the seminarians; the altar servers were those who are normally fulfilling this task on Sundays; at the offertory…all those who wanted to join.

Importante que no falte agua (Foto: Lar São Jerónino)

It is essential that there is no lack of water ! (Photo by  Lar S.J.) 

Subsequently the bishop proceeded to the blessing of all the appliances and machinery, which included the planting of a tree (an acacia tree), following a tradition established on previous official visits.

Immediately after there took place the formal visit to the whole Centre, during which the Bishop did not stop asking questions and offering suggestions The encounter was concluded with a lunch: those of the house in the refectory, as usual, with the company of our guests of honour; the other invitees (students, altar servers, etc.) , for lack of space, were served lunch in the corridors or in the classrooms. The bishop expressed admiration and appreciation for the work we have undertaken and gave us thanks for the accomplishments already produced.

Bendiciendo todo el Centro (Foto: Lar São Jerónimo)

Blessing the Center (Photo by Lar São Jerónimo)

It is a recognition we want to extend to all those who have made it possible, through their cooperation, that our Centre would become an ever-growing reality.

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