Villa Colón – Montevideo (Uruguay). On 23 June 2020, intense rain floods the premises of “María Auxiliadora” in Villa Colón, the First House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians founded in 1877 in America (Uruguay), causing flooding and significant structural damage.
A few hours of torrential rain and a meter and a half of water, which from the lowest part of the road, breaks through the gate of the First House “María Auxiliadora” at Villa Colón – Montevideo in Immaculate Conception Province – URU, flooding it.
The water reaches about 80 centimeters from the floor, causing serious damage both to the building and to the furniture.
It pours from doors and windows into the Chapel, tosses the benches as if they were twigs, and only touches the picture of Mary Help of Christians, Helper of the smiling Child, very significant for the FMA because Don Bosco had given to the first missionaries in 1877.
Finally, it reaches the corridor of ‘Memory’, crosses the stairs and submerges the historical part, the place of life, work, and home of the first FMA missionaries, which today is a place of Salesian spirituality.
It is 5 in the morning of 23 June 2020, when the Sisters of the Provincial House, with flash lights and cell phones, note the disaster and the great damage to the premises, submerged by water and mud, in Villa Colón – Montevideo (Uruguay) which houses the historical memory of the First House of the FMA and the historical site of the Missionary Spirituality Project – PEM.
Communicating with the Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, the Provincial recounts the powerlessness and pain at seeing destroyed what is most precious: the memory of the Salesian places, sanctified by the first missionaries who with sacrifice and hard work implanted the Charism of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in America. And from Villa Colón they expanded across the American continent.
The First House María Auxiliadora in Villa Colón is home to the Missionary Spirituality Project – PEM, a center of Missionary Spirituality for Uruguay and for other countries in America and the world.”
Mother Antonia Colombo, VIII Superior General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, supported PEM, presenting it to the XXI General Chapter. The intention is to revive the missionary fire of the origins in the communities, rediscovering with appropriate paths, the gift of the missionaries in the South Cone of America. A team of sisters organized the areas and itineraries between Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. They re-discover the years of life along the Rio de la Plata, in Northern and Southern Patagonia, in Punta Arenas, and in Dawson Island in Chile, Rio Grande, Rio Gallegos, etc.
Initially only religious participate in the itineraries, but progressively also young people and lay people unite with amazement and joy to discover the lands where the holiness of Laura Vicuna, Zefirino Namuncurà, Artemide Zatti flourished, witnesses to the daily, widespread, holiness lived by Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesians of Don Bosco, and lay people, by multitudes of pupils, oratorians, collaborators who share the Charism of Don Bosco and Mary Domenica Mazzarello.
The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians launches a fundraiser of solidarity for this Sacred House because of its Salesian charismatic memory, in order to reconstruct the sacred places where formation meetings on Salesian spirituality for young people, lay people, and FMA are held.
Donations can be made by clicking here Donations Online