The Home of the Mother Youth of Jacksonville, Florida organized a walking pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine, as we do every Advent and Lent, the weekend of December 10-11. Since it was the weekend before the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, we also took as our theme the renewal of devotion to Our Lady in the United States.

DiaconadoOn December 17th, the Home of the Mother welcomed two new deacons: Brother René Zambrana y José Luis Saavedra were ordained deacons by Bishop José María Yanguas, the Bishop of Cuenca, at the cathedral in the ¨enchanted city¨, as Cuenca, Spain is called.  As the diaconal ordination rite says, the brothers committed themselves to a life of celibacy, constant prayer, and to be a minister of the altar until the end of their days.  It was a foretaste of what they, as Servant Brothers and consecrated to God, will soon experience when they make their final vows this upcoming 8th of September.

The Servant Brothers have been busily working in Sts. Dionysius and Pancracius Parish in Valencia, Spain since October.

The Servant Sisters in Lumezzane organized a ¨Winter Get-together¨ for girls aged 11-14 from December 28th-30th.  14 girls came in all.  The theme of the get-together was ¨Created for Greatness¨, inspired by a saying from Pope Benedict XVI: ¨The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness. ¨

Last week, we celebrated our annual Christmas pageant with all the children from the First Communion and Confirmation catechism classes at Our Lady of the Rosary and of Hope Parish in Móstoloes (Madrid, Spain).

Last Saturday, December 10th, the members of the Home of the Mother Tampa community met with the Servant Sisters from Jacksonville for the monthly Family Encounter.

Fr. Felix and Fr. Henry, Servant Priests of the Home of the Mother, led a spiritual retreat in Canada on the weekend of December 2nd-4th. By the grace of God and thanks to the help of all the Home of the Mother members in Canada, we were able to finish building the H.M. Prayer Center here in Canada on time for the retreat.  It was a dream come true.

“Mary, Woman of Silence, Gave Flesh to the Word” -- The Theme of the Silent Retreat. The Home of the Mother led a silent retreat for young people in Jacksonville, Florida, on the weekend of November 18-20th.

On Thanksgiving weekend, the Home of the Mother in the USA had a Family Retreat from November 24-27.

John Paul II told missionaries in the encyclical Redemptoris missio: ¨The missionary experiences the consoling presence of Christ, who is with him at every moment of life...and who awaits him in the heart of every person. ¨.  That is exactly what we experienced in this small and humble weeklong mission trip that we carried out in Macael (Almería, Spain).

Who would have thought that an old traditional feast in the USA would be celebrated in a town like Lumezanne in Brescia, Italy, at the foot of the Italian Alps?

We had our monthly get-together for young girls at Our Lady of the Rosary and of Hope Parish in Mostoles, Spain this November.

The flow of activity at Our Lady of the Eagle Sanctuary in Alcalá de Guardaría, located near Seville, Spain is continuously showing signs of bearing fruit.

Thanks be to God, on Saturday, November 19th, more than 50 girls came to our monthly get-together.

Last Saturday, November 12, members and friends of the Home of the Mother in the Tampa Bay Area came together for their monthly Family Encounter.

The Tampa group meets every second Saturday of the month at a home in Dade City. The Servant Sisters from the Jacksonville community and three candidates traveled to spend the afternoon with the Tampa group.

On Sunday, November 20th, the Servant Sisters in Rome held a retreat for college girls at the church in the Sisters´ house.

A group of girls from different parts of Spain came together with two communities of the Servant Sisters from Getafe and Valencia for the All Saints´ Day long-weekend vacation.  We had a get-together in Torrent, at the Dominican Mothers´ Bethlehem Monastery, which the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother are currently living in, close to Valencia, Spain.  We all had a great time!

Last weekend in the Jacksonville Resi, we held our annual “Holy-ween” party for high school/college-age girls.

We call it “Holy-ween” in order to bring back the tradition of celebrating the saints and their lives on the vigil of All Saints´ Day. The only catch to coming to our “Holy-ween” celebration was you had to dress up as a saint.

On October 28-30th, the community of Servant Brothers in Urroz-Villa – located in the region of Navarra, Spain – had a get-together for young boys from Barcelona, Zaragoza, Ajo (Cantabria), Arroniz (Navarra); other Servant Brothers came along as well.
Everyone arrived in the afternoon.  There was a family atmosphere right from the start, full of joy, friendly conversations, each one helping to serve the other – which should be trademarks of any member of the Home of the Mother.  All of the boys took part in the tasks and work that we had to do.  The first mission was to make dinner.  At dinner, we had a lot of reasons to celebrate: first of all, the very cause for our getting together: to get to know Our Lord, by means of Our Most Holy Mother the Blessed Virgin; secondly, to enjoy seeing each other again; and Fr. Juan´s 16th priestly anniversary was commemorated with a tasty pumpkin cake.

Our Lady gave us a beautiful, sunny day after many rainy days here in Cantabria, on Saturday, October 29th, when we had a get-together for little girls in Zurita, Spain.The 5 girls arrived at noon and the H.M. Get-Together began.  What was the theme?  ¨Be a Friend of the Saints¨.  And what better way to start off the day than with the Saints´ best friends: Jesus and Mary, of course.

Last Sunday – October 30th – was a day full of graces and blessings for the Home of the Mother here in Lumezzane (Brescia), Italy.  Sunday began like any other Sunday: we went to Mass – this time at 9:30 – at our parish.  Afterwards, the Sisters went with a group of girls, aged 6 to 11, to the Don Rovetta Center in order to spend the day there.  All of the activities had for its theme the parable of the man who finds a treasure in the field, he hides it, and then later goes out and sells everything he has in order to buy that field.  We had time for prayer, reflecting on the parable before the Treasure: Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament.  We sang, danced, cooked, and ate…all together, as a family.  Later on, we had a scavenger hunt with teams; the goal was to find the treasure, which was Jesus in the Eucharist.  Once the scavenger hunt was over, five girls entered in the Home of the Mother for the first time – or renewed their commitments.  They were very happy to be a part of the gift that Our Lord wishes to make to His Mother, who is Our Mother as well!  Everyone went home happy after having spent the day together with Her.