Our arrival in the Bronx
After a rich and long pilgrimage through Europe, New York – here we are! Exhausted and with eyes full of stars we finally made our first entry into the New World. We arrived in the South Bronx during the night of 4th of November and were welcomed by a homeless man sleeping on the front steps of our new home. “His name is … Angel! We truly felt that our Lord wanted to show his tangible welcoming presence.”
Fixing the interior of the (not so brand…) new ESM facilities. Which is, in fact, also part of our mission as the pioneer students. If we want ESM to be frutiful in the years to come, we have to build it on firm foundations.
We received great support from the parishioners of Saints John and Paul in Larchmont, the Emmanuel Community in NYC, the French Aumonerie, and friends and families. Many helped with donations of furniture, bedding, towels, appliances and more in order to help us make the house even more WELCOMING! Many also came to help us paint, clean-up and move furniture around. This has been a precious help, thanks again to everyone! Thanks also to those who pray for the project!
Whilst we’re speaking about “thanks”, here is a new reason to be thankful for – on November 23rd, we not only celebrated the birthday of our kind director but also the feast of Thanksgiving.
For this special occasion, we were hosted by very welcoming and generous families from Saints John and Paul parish in Larchmont, so we could experience all the joy and riches of this feast. It was an amazing experience – one thing is certain, Americans know how to make someone feel at home!
New teachers… New topics… New discoveries!
Our intellectual life was nourished a lot these last few weeks. We officially began our teachings with specialists coming just for us from Europe. Father Dominique-Marie, current rector of Trinita dei Monti in Rome was our first guest and gave us a course on liturgy. His class made us aware of how deep the communion is between Heaven and earth during mass.
Then came Jean-Luc Moens from Belgium. His joyful presentation of evangelization enflamed our hearts and gave us a burning spirit to start our mission! We had our first street evangelization in Central Park putting Jean-Luc’s advice into practice and experiencing inculturation.
We also started a class on the history of the spirituality given by Father Frank who is a priest of the parish of Saints John and Paul in Larchmont. Through his teaching we realized how the Holy Spirit is present at the beginning of the earth’s creation and how blessed we are that our baptism truly makes us children of God!
November ended with a course given by a professional coach – Marguerite Chevreul (also known as Paquerette). Through an intense reflection on ourselves and our relationship with others, she helped us think about occupations that could make us more fruitful in society. God is love, and He gave us talents, so, as long as we orient them to the good, we should use our talents to the best of our ability. By doing this we are following His will and discovering our vocation for our joy and the joy of the world. God is good!
Our Lady, the greatest missionary!
On Saturday Nov. 9th – the Feast Day of St. Juan Diego – we took part in a consecration to Jesus through Mary. It boosted our will to honor Mary as our spiritual Mother who gives birth to each one of Her children. As a sign of Heaven it was also the first day of snow here in New York. The whole of the city became as immaculate as the purity of Mary!
Discovering the neighborhood and the local mission
The beginning of ESM NY is the starting point of a brand new mission at a local scale. In order to find our place, we have to get to know the neighborhood better and find out what is currently been done. Therefore the month of November was dedicated to meeting the local missions. The Redemptorists who are responsible for the church next door; the Missionaries of Charity (sisters of Mother Teresa) and the famous Franciscan Friars of the Renewal who are five blocks away.
On Monday 18th December, we had our first service of compassion with the Missionaries of Charity. We were amazed by the holiness of their lives and the entire gift of their life for the poor.
Taming the Big Apple… Young Missionaries on expedition!
Finally, we’ve started to make New York our new home by taking the opportunity of our free days to do some visits (#Routard’s Guide). We were astonished by the beauty of the
Autumn colors in Central Park, lost in the crowd in Times Square with Father Dominique-Marie and suspended in the air on the High Line. Such good memories, praise God!
Thank you to all our generous donors and benefactors! Every Monday we remember you in a special way in our prayers at Mass.