Section title text:  Recent News.

Catechesis and Christmas Preparation, Tarija, Bolivia

Life in the FCJ community in Tarija, Bolivia, has been happily busy. There has been preparation for First Communion and Confirmation in the parish and now it is Advent and preparation for Christmas.

Confirmation took place on 5th December and one of the pictures below shows the candidates for confirmation with the Bishop. Another shows Sr Terry fcJ and Magdalena, the psychologist at the Colmena. They were cooking for a group of 80 in November, ... and there is one a taken at Lazareto.

tarija confirmation

In these pictures there is a group of catechists looking rather uncomfortable as they give catechesis in trinitarian formation! There is a picture from the November end-of-month meeting with a wooden Nativity scene made by Swiss volunteers using scraps of wood in the Colmena carpentry shop, and another picture of sponsore and families..

tarija with bishop

Christmas preparation continues at the Colmena, (a rehabilitation centre near Tarija, where Sr Terry works). A group of 15 or 16 people are preparing a Nativity play that will be staged during the half hour break of the Bingo on 20 December. This has presented a few challenges to Sr Terry, the 'stage director.'

The plan is to have the Annunciation, with the Angel Gabriel coming to María, across a patch of grass and passing between two small trees.  The chief gardener is a little anxious for his garden. "Con cuidado" he said and repeated "Con cuidado y no toca las plantas"...don´t touch the plants!"  With those precautions, hopefully all will go well.

Mary and Joseph don´t want to use a donkey although it would be easy to borrow the one that lives across the street.  Joseph is afraid of donkeys and Mary does not seem too keen either. Some of the carpenters in the group are building a stage over the water pool that is central to the garden area.   José, the angel, will clamber up onto this high point and announce the Good News to the shepherds, but some of his companions have told Sr Terry that José cannot be an angel because he is black.  Terry has explained to them that angels are pure spirits and that colour does not matter in this situation or indeed an any situation.

Another challenge has been keeping the peace over translations! One man who is from the evangelical tradition could not accept the words from the Christmas booklet being used, because as far as he was concerned, they were not from the Bible.  He couldn't be convinced that it is is simply a different translation of Scripture.   He has offered to do the major work on the stage instead of being Herod as had been planned. But all will be well!

... and the Angel said to the shepherds, Glory to God, and Peace on Earth to all of Good Will!

La nostra piccola Società ha come fine
     di glorificare il cuore di Gesù
           con ogni mezzo in suo potere ...     (Marie Madeleine)