[Spain] The song begins with these words and so did our adventure. We are a group of pilgrims that included Daughters of Charity, Vincentian Fathers and young people, a total of 21 persons. We come from all over Spain, gathered by the Holy Spirit with a connection with the Vincentian Charism. And we go to the peripheries – our peripheries – to the invisible areas which society doesn’t remember, but in which God is very present. We don’t know what this road will give us, but we are sure that the Holy Spirit will move and accompany us. It is an “ideal experience” for the 400 years of our charism, an ideal moment to feel as strangers, to come close to the Calvary that so many immigrants suffer, although we are “very aware that we don’t even come close.” We hope to be witnesses in our communities and to contribute with our small grain of sand so our communities become more friendly and more tolerant with those who are strangers or foreigners.
The Pine Centre – Esperanza (Hope) Project – Seville
Looks, Smiles, hope…
At the outskirts of Seville many difficult but hopeful stories welcome us. Young immigrants are helped in the Pine Centre where they receive formation to be introduced to the workforce. They felt nervous in front of us but resolved to make us participants of their stories. Together we travel for a moment in their world. We moved to that September 15 at 8 a.m. when they stepped into the “promised land”, running through mountains, drifting for 3 days in the middle of January. Despite what it may seem there were no long faces, nor crying but smiles and a great desire to live. We discover that, although the names and faces changed, the stories are repeated one after another.
Back at the Provincial house of Seville those hard histories remained in our heads. We thought that this would be one easy day but we discovered at once that in these 15 days there won’t be anything simple. We would find testimonies that will speak to us of emigrants’ reality.
In the afternoon, we were invited to be “airports full of life”, with continuous take offs without fear to fly to the peripheries. An intense day, full of life and full of what the Holy Spirit had reserved for the following days. It wouldn’t be easy, but we count on your prayer.