On Monday some of the seminarians took a city bus out to the San Matteo neighborhood, where the Missionary Brothers of Charity live, to visit a public lunch program. Unlike in US schools, kids in Mexico don’t receive a free or subsidized lunch at school, so this program provides a lunch as well as some extra support to kids as they head to or come from morning or afternoon school. Inez, who runs the sight we visited, told us her goal is to make sure the kids feel loved, as well as fed, every day. In addition to the food, the kids learn table manners (at least sort of), say their prayers together before the meal, and have access to a small library to check out books. We played soccer and hacky sack, sang songs using a guitar borrowed from one of the staff members’ sons, and talked with the kids in our different levels of Spanish, or just by pointing and making faces.
The Seminarians with the lunch staff. A couple of the students snuck in too.
After the program, we ate leftovers with the staff, then tested our navigation skills as we caught a bus and two trains to make it across the city to our new home for the rest of this trip.
We’ve moved to a convent of Hermanas Marianas (Marian Sisters) near the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, on the North side of Mexico City. It’s a great location, just a few blocks from the shrine, and with a chapel and kitchen in house. The sisters provide some of our breakfasts and dinners, and we help with dishes afterwards. We’re also learning how to use a washboard for laundry, and how to share 8-man dormitories.
On Tuesday we chartered a bus and drove out to see the ruins of Teotihuacan, an ancient city that was already in ruins before the Aztecs even arrived in the Valley of Mexico, what is now Mexico City. We climbed the pyramids, walked some of the ancient streets, and took in some very interesting museums. We prayed daytime prayer on the Pyramid of the Moon, offering a “sacrifice of praise” where the ancient inhabitants offered humans.
Today (Wednesday) several more of the men are going back across the city to participate in the same lunch program. Others of us will be going downtown to see some of the sights, and still others will be spending the day as more of a retreat, staying at the shrine and the surrounding area.
Please keep us in prayer on our various adventures today!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!