An adventure called Scuola Loreto

The "Loreto School" is the Mariapolis Lia experience aimed at training families in the culture of unity.

“The Loreto School” is an experience aimed at forming families in the culture of unity and for more than 20 years it has been held at the Mariapolis Lia in O’Higgins, province of Buenos Aires. Families from Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina (Misiones, Chaco, Formosa, Córdoba, Salta, and Rio Negro) and Chile, began this adventure called “Loreto School 2022” in January for a period of two weeks.

Coté, Ángel, Samuel and Sofi (from Chile) will now tell us about this unique experience that went on for a bit longer!!!!

“For two weeks we shared so many things; our life, different activities, meditations, training sessions (which helped us to deepen our charism and acquire practical tools for us as a couple and for the accompaniment of other families), daily Mass (where we were able to sing), recreational evenings, various meals, etc.”.

We had the chance to help build the city in a concrete way from Monday to Saturday. Everyone had the opportunity to work; painting, watering trees and plants, weeding, cleaning, repairing, tidying up, etc. We took turns to stay at home with the children and prepare lunch.

A few days before the end of the school, members of some families started to feel unwell… this alerted us and we took some safeguard measures while waiting for the results of the respective swabs, which unfortunately turned out to be positive. The school finished with a little bit in the classroom and a little bit online.

We, as a family, extended our stay at the Mariapolis due to the high number of infections in Buenos Aires, changing our initial plans of wanting to get to know the city.

When the last families left on Tuesday morning, the 25th of January, we went to Junín to do the PCR to return to Chile. To our surprise, one of the four of us tested positive, so we could not travel…. this forced us to stay another 12 days… Yes, 12 days!

The one who was positive was isolated next door, while the other adult stayed with the children. They were difficult days, especially the first one… but little by little we offered Jesus this new reality; we were separated but very united. They were days of increased demands on us, but they were also a gift.

Once the isolation was over, or time was dedicated to the family and shared in a special way with some members of the Mariapolis. Each day offered us the opportunity to recognise the presence of Jesus in every encounter and to enjoy simple things: such as the walks to Campo Verde and the games at Villa Blanca. We were able to roll the dice of Love and in the evening discuss how we had corresponded to the invitation during the day. And as for the children, what can we say! Sofia (2 years old) became the official alcohol spray dispenser when we went to mass (she wasn’t satisfied with people just spraying alcohol when they entered the auditorium, so she went from bench to bench spraying everyone).

During the last days, we shared precious moments with Honorio and María Inés Rey, one of the first permanent families of the Mariapolis. The children had time to enjoy nature, spending long hours playing with the soil, looking for dinosaur bones. Not only did they feed the lizards, but on more than one occasion Honorio went out with them to collect feathers from the various birds that roam these parts: pigeons, parrots, hornbills, terns, hummingbirds, harriers, etc.

This beautiful sight, which we can’t help but share, shows us how the creation unites generations, how contact with simple things invites us to love and fills our hearts, because it allows us to come out of ourselves to meet others. By far, much more fun than watching Netflix or videos on your mobile phone….

A few days after finishing this adventure that lasted longer than expected and after returning to our home, all we can say is: Thank you Jesus!

The Martinez Bravo family (Cote, Angel, Sofi, and Sami)