Spain: Sarrià community

’Still Bearing Fruit In Old Age’ (ps. 90 [91]) - We would like to tell you about a few events we were blessed with during the warm month of March.

As some of you already know, after the renovation work on the house was finished, it was decided that we would receive some moderately dependent elderly ladies, inviting them to live out the final stage of their life with us if they wished. This, not with the official status of a ’Residence’, but in the knowledge that the community was open to share the dining room, their prayer, weekly meetings, various therapeutic workshops, training, relaxation and celebration with them. This would be on condition that they would make an agreed financial contribution and that the family would accompany them to medical appointments and for hospital visits. 
 
The experience began on the 31st of May 2013 with T.S., a lady of 95 who is mentally very alert. She is very open, anxious to participate, a great woman, a Christian, who is dearly loved by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; they visit her often and this has extended our family. The second lady, R.C., arrived on the 17th September 2013; she had known us through the family of the first person we mentioned. She also was a very Christian woman, inclined to be silent, with very frail health. She used to show her gratitude always by a very pleasant smile and gestures. Her only son and his wife used to visit her nearly every day and the grandchildren visited very often. 
 
Sunday, March the 16th, there were two events. This is the first: 
R.C. died on the 15th at 8.15 a.m. and the family chose to have the funeral mass in our chapel. Her daughter-in-law has two brothers who are Salesians and they concelebrated with our chaplain. It was a very well-prepared Eucharist and there was good participation. The chapel was full: family members and friends with a large number of young people as the grandchildren are members of the Workers Catholic Action and had previously been with the Young Christian Workers. 
 
They asked that a Little Sister would say a few words of introduction and here are some extracts of what was said: 
….’We are going to say good-bye to R. although she will certainly remain in our heart, with the best gift that we Christians can offer to our dead: the celebration of the Eucharist, the memorial of the life of Jesus Christ that was offered, his Passion and his Resurrection. And all this was for Love of the Father and for all of humanity. 
While the Eucharist is always Thanksgiving it is doubly so for our Community as we wish to give thanks for the time we lived with R. and for the deep bond that was formed with her, her family and our community. It was through R. that all met and were united. That was a gift!’ 
 
For our part, we ask: This living with and accompaniment in the final stage of life as we experience it in our reality – is it not a way of sharing our Common Treasure with laypeople? 
 
’The old people alongside the children’ 
 
This biblical expression summarises the second experience of that same day. Some months previously we had promised to receive a group of teenagers with four monitors, one of whom is our Sister Pilar Cabañes. 
 
They wanted to give some hours of voluntary work in our community. We dialogued by e-mail and managed to specify the activities they might undertake: each of them to take a sister for a walk around the garden, some indoor games with another group, and they asked that they might interview some of us. We talked about this in the community groups and it was all well received. 
 
God, ’who does all things well’ arranged that, even though the two events took place on the same day, all went off peacefully and joyfully. One event lasted from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and the other from 10.30 am. to 1.30 p.m. The young people seemed very pleased and, as they had not been able to visit the Chapel, the surroundings, the kitchen garden etc., they will come back another day to finish their visit to the house and continue sharing together. 
 
For us, everything had been interesting: those who had gone for the walk were very happy even though some were not able to express this; those in the group for the games had learned some new ones, and those who were interviewed (we had asked for the questions beforehand) found that it led us to reflect on our life and to find words that could be understood by young people of their age and present-day mentality. We do not know whether we succeeded but we do know that they seemed to be very pleased. This apostolic experience was a joy for us, which is why we would like you to join in our thanksgiving. 
 
Comunity of Sarriá – Barcelona 
 
 
Adria accompagnies Antonia on a walk in the garden. It was she who chose that.
 
 
Nuria (monitor) has a break with Sara and Sara takes the chance to practice her hobby of reading palms.
 
 
Alexandra walks and chats with Matilde 
 
 
Irma and a team organise the games : Srs Pilar, Teresa, Pili, Fina
 
 
Consuelo talking with Helena and Inma.
 
 
Maria José , Little Sister, is questioned by Ana and Clara.
 
 
Luis (monitor) with Anna Ma, Patri with Mercè, her smile is eloquent.
10/06/2014
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