Peru - Mission of the Little Sisters in the family catechetics course at Campoy (Lima)
Testimonies of a family, of a child
In the district of Lima called Campoy we are involved in the life of a Church that is seeking to journey with impoverished families. "Her lot is with the poor, the workers and their family; she will love this mission, preferring it to all else." Fr Pernet.
We are in tune with the words of Pope Francis: ’We value parents, mothers and fathers, as active teachers of catechetics, especially with regard to their children… Family catechetics is of great help as it is an effective way of training young couples and making them aware of their mission as evangelisers with their own family. Also, it is very important to emphasise the connection between family experience and Christian initiation ’ (Final Report of the 2015 Synod, no. 89).
For 25 years we Little Sisters have been sharing our charism with the Project for Family Catechetics as a community path of evangelisation by the family and for the families. In this project, my mission as a Little Sister of the Assumption, filled with enthusiasm for Jesus Christ "Servant and Saviour", has been to accompany the leader couples, the animators and the families, as an adviser in the Faith, encouraging laypersons who are committed in their family, neighbour-hood, local community etc.
As an adviser, I am one of the family catechetics team that has its place in the six Parish communities. We work with the co-ordinators so that the catechetics programme may attain its aim of forming communities that are committed to the transformation of the families.
I am going to share with you some of the many testimonies concerning the family catechetics programme.
Testimony of a family
- "We have two children 11 and 7 years. The first time we went to the family catechetics was to enrol our daughter for her baptism and first communion, but we already knew something about the programme because, as a family, we always go to mass; we used to do that in our home town of Ayacucho. - ’My wife is very charismatic and likes to participate in all the church activities, and she is also a good collaborator.’
- ’My husband used to resist going to the meetings; he has a strong character and did not to listen to others because he thinks he knows it all and is always right. However, about half-way through the programme he began to attend from time to time; he said to me: "I am enjoying it… there are things that we don’t do at home, for example, we don’t pray and I thought that I was a good father because I was providing the material things for my family but I was forgetting that the spiritual is important too".’ It was when both of us came to know better the family at Nazareth: Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and now we can say with conviction: ’that is what our family should be like’ and, in order to be better parents we should educate our children in the faith every day. That is why, so as to confirm our Faith we decided to receive the sacrament of matrimony and so have the full blessing of God."
Roxana and Plácido
Testimony of a child
- "My name is Kevin Saúl Livia Campos and I am 13 years old. I learned a lot during the two years of the family catechetics course and, especially, I came to know the word of God. The first stage was a lovely experience because I enjoyed the games organised by the leaders, Angie and Yamilet, who were very kind and cheerful; my friends and I enjoyed ourselves very much. For the second stage, some time before I was to receive the Body of Christ, I had an unfor-gettable retreat experience, with the vigil around the fire, the activities etc.. Also, during the days when I was on my own, at a distance from my family, I learned to know Jesus better, to appreciate my family and to know that Jesus teaches us with His Word. At the moment of my Communion I was even happier and was encouraged by receiving Him and having Him within me. Every time I am present at Mass I receive in the same way, with great enthusiasm, because I know it is a food that I need all the time to strengthen my spirit and to have inner peace. That is why I am very happy that my mother enrolled me for the family catechetics and that I have been able to experience all the Lord offered me. I feel the need to continue following in the footsteps of Jesus."
Kevin, a teenager, is the son of a single mother; he has two brothers and all three followed the Family Catechetics programme
At the end of the two stages, the programme includes a retreat for the children.
The process lasts over a period of two years, and there is a weekly meeting with the parents of the children, accompanied by the "guide couples". On another day of the week the animators meet with the children to share and to reinforce the content of the catechetics. At the end of the two years, there is the effort to have a more personal and spiritual encounter with the Lord in which the children might learn to be more aware of the importance their family has. A three-day retreat prepares for that during which they share on very important themes, making this time an unforgettable encounter between the children and Jesus.
Those in charge are the animators, with the team that accompanies them in preparing the activities during the retreat days.
Today in Campoy, and with my 80 years, I am happy and still enjoying what the LORD OF LIFE sends me, with my brothers and sisters, so as to create communities with them, that the reign of God may extend to the families. After fifty years of religious life, the biggest gift I have received is the fidelity of God, the friendship arising from all the work we do for the evangelisation of the families so that the laypeople engaged in this mission may preserve the charism and spirituality and continue working for the homes of Campoy.
’Still bearing fruit in old age, still remaining fresh and green, to proclaim that the Lord is righteous.’ Psalm 92
Luisa – Community of San Martín – Lima, Peru