AT San Luis, Petén a new FMA community

San Luis, Petén (Guatemala). On May 24, 2019 a new community of the Salesian Sisters (FMA) was opened in the village of Chacté, in the Municipality of San Luis, in the North of Holy Savior Province (CAM).

The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Msgr. Mario Fiandri, SDB, Bishop of the Peten Vicariate. The welcoming fraternity of Father Filomeno Ceja m.c.c.j. Pastor of the city, and the warmth and simplicity of the people of these lands welcomed Sister Alma Patricia Aguilar, Sister María del Carmen Mancía, and Sister Ana Vilma Pino. The three sisters will collaborate in the pastoral mission of the parish: the formation of youth ministers and the promotion of women, the formation of catechists, parish catechesis, visits to different rural communities and indigenous centers. In the future, we want to open a reception center for volunteers who want to carry out a missionary experience.

The provincial, Sister Roxana Maria Artiga, declared in her welcoming talk: "In line with His Holiness, Pope Francis, as a Church, and as an outgoing Province, we are going to evangelize, continuing to proclaim Christ, to be in Chacté a community with open doors. We have heard the voice of God challenge us to look for Him on the faces of children and young people from San Luis. We want to help them find God in themselves and feel inhabited by a God who loves each of them in their own personal history.

We chose to call the new Community ‘Mission House Our Lady of Guadalupe’ because we want Mary to accompany us on the journey between the different cultures of these lands. Like Mary we want to walk barefoot with the communities and enjoy the richness of simplicity, closeness, of mutual help, of joy, and above all, of living in this community to witness that God lives in everyday life".

The decision to open this community in San Luis between the Q'eqchi and Mopanes Maya was the result of a long process of discernment, prayer, and listening to the voice of God that calls us to serve.

The territory of Petén has a young population, 43.4% of its inhabitants is between 0 and 15 years, a significant reason to remain in this place and make the Salesian charism visible.

The lack of priests and religious shows the need for the FMA presence to accompany 40 of the 180 communities formed by different ethnic groups.

The Province begins a new journey to continue to broaden the heart and fulfill the Dream of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello. "The Holy Spirit continues to count on us, and even in the midst of our poverty we say to Jesus that we want to be the Monument of gratitude to the Mother of Heaven and manifest God's tenderness for every child and young person we meet, willing to live what is required in this sacred place of Chacte, San Luis”.

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