On December 14, the Congregation of Holy Cross in Chile together with members of the local community had the joy of blessing a community project of a new house for the older girls who are a part of FUNDAMOR’s residence program.
FUNDAMOR, which comes from the combining of the words “Fundación” and “Moreau” is a ministry of the District of Chile-Perú that grew out of the Congregation’s long-standing work in Chile with orphans and other children in at-risk situations. FUNDAMOR offers a variety of different programs and outreaches, including an innovative and highly acclaimed prevention program that works with at-risk families to help them maintain their children in their own homes.
For many years, the residence program, which consists on an average of 40 children, had included three separate homes—one for the older girls, one for the older boys, and one for the smallest boys and girls. For various reasons, FUNDAMOR had to leave the house it had rented for several years as the home for the girls.
After a long search, a house was found, well-located near the FUNDAMOR offices and the other two houses of the residence program. The house was in need of renovation and enlargement, yet thankfully the National Construction Company (ENACO) did both things, and the Foundation “Together for Children” donated furniture and supplies for the new house. In addition, many other people and groups helped with the project, making it a true community effort.
The community celebration of the project had to be scaled back due to sanitary regulations due to the pandemic, yet with the help of the San Roque Parish Youth Team, the entire event was broadcast and recorded on YouTube.
In addition to members of the FUNDAMOR team, including Director Carola Gana and Chaplain Fr. Daniel Panchot, C.S.C., also participating were representatives of SENAME (the governmental institution that attends to vulnerable children), ENACO, and “Together for Children." In addition, Fr. David Halm, C.S.C., Rector of St. George’s College, represented the groups from the school that support this apostolate, and Carolina Letao, the Mayor of Peñalolén, represented the collaboration between FUNDAMOR and the local government.
During the blessing, two of the girls who are residents of the house proclaimed Bible texts from the First Kings, about the construction and blessing of the First Temple in Jerusalem. Then, with a silent prayer, all present were invited to ask for God's blessings on the project, while the girls, residents of the house took turns sprinkling holy water, symbolizing both the waters of Baptism and rainwater, so necessary for the well-being of Peñalolén. At the same time music was played, symbolizing joy and life arising from the project.