On the 10th we celebrated the 37th anniversary of the birth of the Lay Claretians Movement, the day in which the official act of its constitution was signed, at the end of the Assembly of Villa de Leyva-Colombia. This was possible because on July 8, in that same Assembly, the idea of the Lay Claretians was approved, an essential document to be able to constitute ourselves as a Movement.
In the words of Miguel Ángel Sosa, current Secretary General: "Let us thank God for the immense gift that our ideology supposes, the text that summarizes our identity and the particular features of our lay Claretian charism and that guides and illuminates our path. And for all those who made it possible, some of whom continue to walk together with all the people who are in the Movement, giving us a precious testimony of fidelity to the vocation that we share".
The vocation promotion team is preparing a virtual meeting to celebrate the event together. We have been receiving information through the regional councils and delegates for groups without a region. Also through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/174379192638320/posts/3052313194844891/?d=n. We encourage all of you who are able to join in this moment of celebration.
Today, 21 June, we would have held, as usual for the ETUC, the summer meeting in the Dima farmhouse. Evidently, given the circumstances derived from the COVID-19, we could not go there, but we wanted to get together to take stock of the course, to meet, to give thanks for all that we had experienced and to take advantage of it to celebrate together in the Eucharist the Day of the Heart of Mary that was yesterday.
Who would have told us during the first weeks of April, when we were in full confinement and with the pandemic in full swing that today we could see each other, meet and pray together! Dressed in masks and with exquisite hand washing, yes, but together.
Before the Eucharist, accompanied by a wonderful day, we met approximately 35 brothers and sisters of the Community in the patio of the Askartza School. There, from the Permanent Board, dividing ourselves into odd and even numbers, we were asked to make two concentric circles with our bodies, keeping a safe distance while our companions in the inner circle rotated to the left and we shared with the person in front of us the answer to each of the five questions we had for a minute: What did I like most and least about my life during this course? How do I define with a word the course of the community and why have I chosen that word; what has cost me the most and what I value the most from my community experience in this course; and what challenge and desire do I pose for my community for the next course?
As a last gesture, we have slipped from one to the other, until totally configuring the circle, a cord of blue color, symbolizing that we are united as a network, the importance that has for us the power to live and grow in Faith in Community and our desire to follow Jesus in the style of Claret. All this makes us feel united, belonging and participating in the same project. To finish the gesture, from the Board, they have cut us a piece of this cord so that we can take it with us as a bracelet, key ring or bookmark during this summer and thus, always have our brothers and sisters of Community present.
We concluded this special day with the Eucharist, aware that, despite adversity, we are called to continue to be bearers of God's hope for the world. So, in this New Normalcy or whatever happens, we are still on the way!
In the midst of this pandemic, Conchita from Chicago shares with us her achievements in her fight for equality for migrants.
VICTORIA! Thanks to our legislative champions! Illinois Access to Justice can continue to provide legal services and education to our vulnerable communities. VICTORIA! Illinois becomes the first state in the country to cover undocumented seniors
Ere Rendón told us the news "As a member of the Healthy Illinois Campaign Steering Committee we want to thank the Illinois Latino Legislative Caucus for their unwavering commitment to funding to expand Medicaid (health coverage) to low-income undocumented adults in Illinois!"
We are at the heart of the Latino community, not only in Illinois, but also in Chicago, with a large presence of Mexican immigrants. A place with a lot of optimism and a lot of determination. We are immigrants, and we came here so we can give our children a better life. And I think now is a much more challenging time. Ere Rendon is an immigration advocate for the non-profit Resurrection Project based in Chicago. I think people are as afraid of the virus as they are of what it means to them in terms of deepening poverty. And I think these two fears are now so overwhelming to our families. Hard times that weigh heavily on Rendon. Both of his parents are undocumented. Since then, 15 members of her family have tested positive, and she says that when the virus attacks the more than half million undocumented immigrants in the state of Illinois, relief is lacking. There are no benefits. There is no unemployment. There is no evidence of stimulus reaching the people we work with. So they have no choice but to go to work or find a way to make a living. To help, the resurrection project has created a fund based on donations. We go to a house, she has four U.S. citizen children, and her husband has not worked since early March. So we're going to give her her check, and hopefully that will help. From a public health perspective, we need to make sure that people who need to be quarantined can stay home, and that means they should be able to pay their rent, their bills and put food on the table. We have to give people money to be able to do that.
Illinois will be the first state to give health insurance to people over 65 regardless of their immigration status, it's just the beginning.
For Rosa, the experience of fighting COVID-19 in isolation and without the benefit of any medical assistance, has left deep feelings of trauma. ¨I honestly suffered a lot emotionally," she said. ¨ We need this help... because we have been living in this country for many years. And it would be so difficult for us to continue without medical coverage in this country that we've made our home.¨
All that remains is to greet them and bless them and thank them for belonging to the MSC. This has been by the grace of God an opportunity, which God gives us to be part of God's dream for his people. Even in times of world-wide test, He gives us rays of hope, that He Himself takes care of canalizing them and weaving them, those situations and histories of ours, and that when doing with others, a world, more solidary, that looks for justice, is obtained.
Thank God that he is the Hope of our world. For Him the Glory and Honor.
Concepción Rodríguez sc/ Chicago, Il 25 de mayo 2020