Brazil - "Jesus will look closely at our gesture of love": parish in solidarity with poorest

19 May 2020

(ANS - Joinville) - “I had an idea that, I believe, is very current in this moment of world crisis and I will tell you about it. I want us to do something for the poor.” These are the words of the parish priest of the church of Saint Anthony in Joinville, SC, the Salesian Fr Renato dos Santos. These, remembering that “our beloved Pope Francis joined the appeal of all the religions of the world for a day of prayer, fasting and charity to implore God for the end of the pandemic”, he thought of a concrete gesture of charity on the part of his faithful towards the people who suffer in this moment of pandemic.

This concrete gesture was made on May 14 when the whole world stopped for a moment on the World Day of Prayer promoted by the High Committee for Human Brotherhood to ask the Lord for the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the Mass celebrated in the chapel of Santa Marta in the Vatican, Pope Francis recalled that there are also other “pandemics” that cause millions of deaths: the pandemic of hunger, war, children who do not have access to education, and invited to ask God to bless and have mercy on humanity.

The San Antonio parish in Joinville was open all day, so anyone who wanted to, from every family or parish group, could offer at least one basket to give to the most needy. The donated baskets were placed in the church benches to symbolize the charity of the family in this moment that calls for solidarity. In the place where families normally sat to pray and participate in the liturgy, baskets with primary needs were placed, donated with love and generosity.

Fr dos Santos hoped to reach at least 2,000 baskets, but the numbers exceeded expectations. “They looked like small ants. All the faithful of our parishes made a gesture of charity. From 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening, people didn't stop. Slowly people came, deposited their baskets, bent their knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament and left. Each basket is a gesture of love, said Fr Renato.

“The Blessed Sacrament was exposed all day long. Every person who came to give something prayed a little and then left. And Jesus will look closely at our gesture of love,” concluded the parish priest.




ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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