In April, we were talking about a large number of new children entering our “Lar” after the initial “wave” of children the odd one still kept coming. The last one just came on May 31st, which was the Feast the Most Holy Trinity, and he is the third brother of two boys who had arrived the month before and who live in Lar. The next day, June 1st, we celebrated the International Day of Children, there are now three groups of three brothers who live here.

Fedinho y Samito
Some minutes after his arrival

When it seemed things had stabilized in terms of the number of children, a new child arrived unannounced on September 30. The helpless situation in which he was found led police to bring him to our center, no more documents that a letter explaining briefly the reasons for his admission   and with nothing but a bag of cookies and the clothes he wore, probably given, partly, if not all,  by the same  family services of the  Police. We welcome and hope he feels at home, while waiting for clarification of his family situation and see if there is a better option.

On Sunday, September 27th, we celebrated our patron, the Virgin Mary with the title of Mother of Orphans, we got a surprise: The dairy cow has given birth after months and months of waiting and hearing that she was pregnant or as they say here, “cheia” (full), and we had begun to doubt that she was full.

It is not the “son of the Moon” as the song of the now extinct Spanish band Mecano, but a son of “Cometa” (LUA- Moon in Portuguese) was the name given to the other dairy cow.

The cow
The cow “Cometa” with it´s calf “Treviso”

The name of the calf is Treviso, a name of an Italian city where our patron, St. Jerome Emiliani on the same day, (the 27th) but 504 years before, left a sign of his gratitude before an image of the Virgin for having escaped from castle where he was imprisoned.
That same Sunday, coinciding with our patron, there was also a great celebration in the parish, as 16 children received Baptism, together with another one, who made his First Communion. Congratulations to all and to those who prepared them. Thanks also to all those who helped make it was such a festive, participatory and organized ceremony.
The Sunday before, the celebrations were no less, as we celebrated  St. Peter Claver,

Solemn Mass of St. Peter Claver
Solemn Mass of St. Peter Claver

patron of the  parish, a Spanish Jesuit who in 1610, while still a novice, went Colombia where he wanted to be “always the servant of the black people” (aethiopum semper servus). We had a visit from the new pastor, who had recently taken possession of this parish and another, where he lives. We had solemn Mass celebration, food, and performances, including dance, in which the new pastor participated with art.

It would seem that celebrations also stimulate the cattle, for the night of October 4 saw the birth, by Moon light, of Paz (peace), the new calf of  “Deolinda”.

Mother and daughter
Mother and daughter

The name was chosen to commemorate the Peace Treaties signed in Rome that same day in 1992, which led to the end of the civil war in Mozambique. A date that is still celebrated throughout the whole country.

Football training with coach

Another new feature of recent months is the “football school” which, although without official recognition, is being carried out in our Center, for both boys of Lar as well as youth from around the area, helped by some of the older kids in the Lar. All are welcome to participate The training sessions are  all loaded with a good amount of physical exercise: jumping, running, sit-ups … that ends with what everyone likes the “big jogo”(big game) football match, with several rounds, as the number of students cannot be accommodated  in just  two teams.

Apoyo escolar de portugués
Tutoring the Portuguese language

Along with the work of sport, there is also an increase in individual work. Seeing the approaching end of the course, and the need to prepare well for the end of cycle exams, a new group has created for all those who, in addition to personal study and educational support during the day, want “something more”. Envisaged mainly for strengthening the core subjects: mathematics, Portuguese … are offered. It is a great success, and done at a time when they were normally resting or glued to the television. Also Congratulations to our new university student, Waite and our seminarian Abel. Win in the fight against the power of the television is not easy, but you are getting there day by day.

Waite and Abel tutoring a class
Waite and Abel tutoring a class

There is more… However, it is left for the next issue. As a clue, I will leave the following letters N.M.G.

Until next time.


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