What remains of what is gone?
Bárbara Baptista, 25 years old | Torres Vedras
"Yes, we do want!"
Inspired by this hundred year old innocent and bold answer, I too wanted to say “Yes, I do want” to the invitation to participate in the summer camp of the Sisters of Aliança de Santa Maria. And because it is always He who takes the initiative and I had been invited, I wanted to give this little yes.
It was not the first summer camp for me but it was and is always renewably new. Seven days and six nights, taking full advantage until my strength failed me.
Besides Father Alberto and the Sisters, permanently available and helpful, we also had the guidance of the two little big Luminaries of Fátima, the little shepherd children, that with the witness of their own little “yesses!” lit and guided our days.
There was time for everything! Except to write all the letters we wanted (what letters? – you’re probably asking… come next year to find out … I dare you!!) There was time to sing; time to play; time to swim; time to slide; time to fall; time to share; time to listen; time to be Silent; time to pray; time to search and to search within us.
A time when we make great friendships, really great!! ( rooted in Him, how could it be otherwise?!)
But also a time that allows us to open our hearts and to find, not a distant God as it is often presented to us or very often how we see Him, rather a God who loves us immensely and wants to dwell in our hearts. That wants nothing more than make us feel infinitely loved.
A time that by the end we just want to sing:
"(…) I will never forget you, never, ever!
Nor the light in your eyes,
Knowing fully well that next year we will be back!!"
Fátima Martins, 19 years old | Mafra
Every summer the Sisters of Aliança de Santa Maria organise a summer camp for young girls, and this year it took place between the 17 and 23 July. During this week we were invited to get to know Jacinta and Francisco Marto, examples of faith and devotion to Our Lady, who were always willing to say “Yes” to the “Lady brighter than the sun”. The innocence of this “Yes” loaded with consequences made us reflect upon the way we act in our day to day life, where we too like the shepherd children are called upon to be attentive and offer sacrifices for a better world.
The mornings were marked by prayer, reflection and discussion of some topics, ending with a catechesis by the Sisters, which, taking as examples Jacinta and Francisco, enabled us not only to understand the given topic better, but also spurred us to act in light of these two children. For the rest of the day we had many activities and challenges that strengthened the ties of friendship in the group and where joy and group spirit were never lacking.
It was undoubtedly an experience I would recommend to all girls, because besides those moments alone which give us a better insight into ourselves, we lived an intense week marked by the search for God and of His love for us, so that after all that we are taught, comes our time to spread His word and try to do our daily tasks in His likeness and image.
See photos: http://aliancadesantamaria.com/galeria/23