In this time of tragic events, our apostolate has increased. Not only personally with those who come to the cathedral, but also by telephone contact with those who cannot get here; we offer them our support and prayers. Despite the danger, a good group of faithful participate in daily Mass and rosary; some also participate in adoration and vespers. They partake in the ceremonies with special fervor … They appreciate being able to have Father Rodrigo preaching daily at Mass, which is unheard of here, and so they eagerly listen to him. The custom of “coffee” after Sunday Mass has become a daily necessity. Thus they have the opportunity to talk as a “family”, sharing their sorrows, encouraging one another …
The apostolate of the Fathers has also spread to other congregations around the bishop’s office. They assist in the regular celebration of Holy Mass and in hearing confessions. Last week, Father Rodrigo preached the Spiritual Exercises to the Carmelite Sisters. And a group of youth, led by Father David, is doing maintenance work in the garden of the Carmelites, as a way also to thank the sisters for lending us their facilities for sports.
But certainly the best work in these past days has been with the youth. The streets are blocked, there is little gasoline, and the danger is permanent, but the youth keep coming!
The camp that we conducted virtually locked inside the boarding facilities was a success. Afterwards the youth asked for the Spiritual Exercises. We preached to two batches of about 20 retreatants. To pray for peace we began perpetual adoration every Thursday. And praying for the same intention, we have organized a rosary chain day and night; those who are not able to attend can also join by praying in their homes.
We began a study course of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, because using this time when their university studies have been interrupted, the youth requested for more formation in Christian doctrine. We also put together for them a study course of the Italian language.
The situation no longer allows us to carry out activities in the evening, so we have concentrated our work during daylight hours. Thus, every Friday, beginning very early in the morning, a group of about 30 youth congregate here. The Holy Mass, in which they participate with sincere devotion, occupies the central place during the day. We conclude with a few hours of sport so that they can get rid of the great tension in which they are living.
What to say of these young people? Though beset by so much suffering they do not give up and they continue to struggle to keep their faith alive, to not lose their joy, hope and trust in God. In the midst of the war these youth are the trophy, the sign of the victory of good over evil, of God over the devil!
Sister. Maria de Guadalupe Rodrigo