To give continuity to the supportive actions of the Light Network Nordeste (Pernambuco), affiliated to the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), which began on August 2019, with the Shelter for the Elderly Irmã Guerra (Casa de Caridade Imaculada Conceição), in Nazaré da Mata -PE, about 70 km from the city of Recife, the Light Network group promoted a music gathering there. The institution is a charitable civil association supported by the Irmãs Vicentinas – Filhas da Caridade de São Vicente de Paulo (Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent of Paul), a Christian order founded in the 17th century, based in France.

The Light Network PE has been able to follow the evolution and the fruits of the work developed by the shelter “Irmã Guerra”, an institution that has been able to overcome obstacles and increasingly improve the care of the elderly. Special beds for the debilitated, walkers and controlled medication not provided by the municipality are examples of achievements that make a difference in the daily lives of those who, for the most part, have no family or financial support. The House of Charity,  which was sheltering 40 elderly people in 2019, managed to expand and restore its infrastructure through the work of volunteers and donations collected. Today, with 82 elderly residents, the institution managed to restructure the reception of the house for the elderly (some bathrooms, rooms and access corridors), install a winter terrace, restore the chapel and the image of Our Lady of Grace in the external central area. A room with pilates equipment and another one for the functioning of the bazaar were organized.  Currently, the Shelter also has a hired physiotherapist who attends the elderly every week day, some of whom have health problems and need support for basic activities such as bathing, walking and eating.

The Light Network PE collected donations for the purchase of food, cleaning materials and diapers, in accordance with the pressing needs informed by the Shelter, and on November 27 a group formed by eight volunteer collaborators left Recife, Olinda and Gravatá for the ecumenical musical gathering with the Irmãs Viventinas (Vincentian Sisters) and the elderly in the Casa de Caridade (House of Charity). According to Cristiane, a collaborator of the Light Network PE, at the opening of the musical circle, after the donations were delivered, the group led a work with songs and prayers to praise and give thanks for the moment shared.

For Sister Alexandria, of the Caridada Imaculada Conceição (Charity of Immaculate Conception), the gathering was very important for the elderly and for the sisters who work in the Shelter. “Moments like this are very important to reduce the loneliness of our elderly who are institutionalized and help us to regain the strength to continue in the daily struggle,” shared the sister. After the first session of songs and prayers, the group of volunteers were invited to repeat the song “Cristo Restaurador “ (Christ the Restorer) for some of the infirm elderly who could not come to the place where the gathering was being held. In this way, the guitarists and choir members took a musical walk through the Shelter to the places indicated by the sisters, where they met with the infirm.

“It was a moment that moved me a lot, as we sang “Cristo restaurador, Jesus dos enfermos”(Christ the restorer, Jesus of the infirm) and walked down the corridors, to see those elderly infirm people surviving as best they could… that what I was doing, which was so simple for me, was for them something magnificent…” emphasised Diogo, one of the Light Network PE volunteers. Esther, also a collaborator of the Light Network PE, said that those who received the most were those who took part in the action of the work: “It was a day of many blessings for all of us…. we went to bring a little relief and hope to the hearts and we left with ours filled with lightness and joy”, she said. “The members of the Light Network group shared their time, their donation, their love with us…and with hearts full of gratitude we offered them our friendship and fraternity through the message of the miraculous medal, on which occasion each one received theirs to also be a messenger of the Immaculate Conception,” shared Sister Alessandra of the Casa de Caridade Imaculada Conceição (Charity of Immaculate Conception). For more information on how to collaborate, please contact Abrigo Irmã Guerra. Casa de Caridade Imaculada Conceição – Abrigo Irmã Guerra Rua Irmã Guerra, 75  –  Nazaré da Mata  –  PE Fone: (081) 3633-2757 / (087) 9 9920-3122