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28 October

Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
1816, Saint Marcellin ministered to the dying teenager, Jean-Baptiste Montagne
2007 : beatification of 47 brothers martyrs of Spain.

Marist Calendar - October

And life invades the houses!



A first for the Marists of Bucharest

31/07/2006: Romania

Simple but true, without discourse or digression, life has invaded, in a wink of an eye, this place about which the Marist Brothers of Bucharest had dreamed and that they had prepared for homeless children.
Those who have followed the development here are walking on clouds so much so that it seems unbelievable. In fact, there have been hard times, doubts, delays, changes of deadlines (so common here that we ended up becoming used to them), but also memorable times, such as the last few days with our eight girls in the house. All day for dreaming out loud of new houses, all day for extrapolating on the future of these houses! All the circumstances and all the times were good for speaking of our desire to change address. And, inevitably, the day arrived on the 13th July. Around four o’clock in the afternoon, eight young people arrived even though they already knew the houses that they had seen constructed during the year. Their faces were radiating and their eyes were expressing irrepressible emotion; their words were joyous and you heard everywhere exclamations, even if some of them were coloured. This was truly a great gift to live such a moment. The young girls were the proprietors and mistresses of the places for twenty-four hours.

On Friday 14th July (anniversary of the French revolution, which means nothing here!), ten other young people came to live with us. These are children without a family who were living in residences for minors in Romania. They are between eight and thirteen years of age and they have been abandoned. They had followed very similar itineraries as our children. Their first names are Estefania, Mariana, Madalina, Magdalena, Natalia, Oana, Ramona…

On Monday 17th July, eight other boys and girls arrived from another residence for minors, but I will speak about that on another occasion.
What I can say is that the children who are with us today have showed such emotion, such smiles, and such surprise on their faces with each discovery. For them, everything was new: the plates, the tables, the covers, the beds, the houses, the district, the relationships with people of their own age and different sex, their companions and their teachers… The gleam that shone in their eyes was also new, all as their desire for a more promising and worthy future.

To finish, without worrying about remembering all the efforts for realising this dream, I want to mention the people and the organisations who have helped us to realise this dream. Many of you have supported us, have dreamed with us, have contributed to this realisation. We experienced once more the phrase of Hélder Camara: “When one has a dream, it is only a dream, but if several have this dream, it becomes a reality.” In thanking all of you, I would like to especially mention:
• The Provincial and his Council for their unconditional support and the affection with which they valued and promoted this dream,
• Caritas Voralberg of Austria, not only for their financial contribution, but for the realisation of this dream together,
• FERE because you believed in our dream and you unearthed for us the collaboration of CAISSE ESPAGNE,
• Messrs Machedon (friends, rather than architects) you conceived houses according to the desire of the children,
• and for personalising our two communities in Bucharest, I am writing the names of Luis and of Fernando who were responsible for the realisation of the project. Luis, when we were “cementing this dream”, death took you from us, but we are conscious that you are always amongst us. And to you Fernando, we say: THANK YOU! You put all your heart in this, showing your affection for the brothers and the future beneficiaries of these houses. It’s an opportunity of having you as brother, for sharing these dreams with you.

After these acknowledgements, I will allow myself the privilege of sharing a desire: “May everything here serve so that the boys and girls feel and experience in their young lives the great love of God!”

With affection, from Bucharest,
Juan Carlos

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