On Friday, October 26th, Ezio and I were greeted as warmly as ever by Socorro, Adriana, Fely and all the other staff and volunteers at Crecemos in Oaxaca, Mexico, under the bright blue sky dotted with amazing pink bugambillia flowers and the mountain landscape framing the scene. That evening we met together at the Parish of St. Carmen for a Mass of Thanksgiving, celebrated by Fr. Lorenzo Fanelli, an Italian priest who nudged some university students to go out into the community and propose the life that they were living to others. The origin of Crecemos lay in that first, small initiative: certain of the goodness and source of hope which they had met, those young people went out of their comfort zone to meet their neighbor with an invitation to share in their happiness.
A prayerful celebration of thanks was a moving way to begin our Fiesta to mark the first 25 years of Crecemos. Children from the Crecemos communities proclaimed the readings, sang and played the guitar and mandolin. Towards the end of the Mass, the congregation was moved to tears and deep smiles as a group of families with children of all ages presented an offering of flowers to Mary at the front of the altar, while the budding group of young violinists from Monte Alban played Ave Maria in the choir loft above. It was glorious!
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