On April 14, 2016, a group of 35 people gathered in the Community-of-Light of Fraternity, to begin an experience unusual until that moment: the repairing and maintenance of several parts of the infrastructure by means of the cooperation of all. Since that day, the activity, baptized with the name of Volunteer Group Service of Saint Joseph, repeated every fortnight, reaching its first anniversary of meetings. The last one took place last March 23.
Along this period, the Volunteer Group Service of Saint Joseph, a request transmitted by the saint to the visionary Sister Lucía de Jesús, a nun of the Grace Mercy Order has been transforming the relationship of the dwellers with the Community-of-Light and their relationship with one another. “We perceive more love, more attention, more care from everyone for what is physically manifested in the place. The integration among the people also improved”, affirms Clarissa Baumgartner, the coordinator of R2, the lodging sector of the community.
Clarissa also perceives a qualitative evolution in these biweekly exercises, because the group is managing to perfect the planning and organization of the activities, which permits a greater efficiency.
In this sense, Mother Emmaús, a nun of the Grace Mercy Order and coordinator of the Community-of-Light of Fraternity, highlights that “as the meetings continued, the adhesion and the surrender of the participants increased, as they began to see the results, and the activity became something expected and lived with a lot of joy”.
“In each group service, I perceive the living presence of Saint Joseph among us. I believe that the group energy that is generated is very positive, because even with the challenges that arise, as in all tasks, things flow in a more effective way”, declares Marlon José Brandão, one of the participants.
A Volunteer Group Service is called “Mutirão” in Brazil, a term that describes the collective mobilizations of the whole community with a common goal. In the Community-of-Light of Figueira, Southern Minas Gerais, Brazil, it is carried out in deep connection of each participant with their soul and their spirit.
Last Group Service included the repairing of the stove, of the irrigation system, the forming of seedbeds, covering, sowing of seeds and seedlings, cleaning of weeds, harvest. In previous occasions, the harmonization of the auditorium-tent was done, as well as the painting of the windows, organization of deposits, cleaning of vehicles of the community, and such tasks as carpentry, mechanic work, gardening and bakery.
The practical activities are executed in the morning. At noon, the participants pray the Devotional to Saint Joseph, share the Ecumenical Communion and lunch. In the afternoon, they pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy and then they conduct activities of group integration. An average of 25-30 people participate, including monastics, residents, permanent collaborators and other volunteers.
The Community-of-Light of Fraternity is located in the state of Paysandú, Uruguay, and is one of the Affiliates of the Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation.