AMERICA/PARAGUAY - The Sisters of Don Orione alongside young people to "help them get out of the vicious circle of addictions"

Saturday, 1 August 2020 orders   addictions   youth   nuns   pastoral  

San Juan Bautista (Agenzia Fides) - "Since arriving in the locality of San Juan Bautista two years ago, we have been working in different sectors of society and specifically with young people: the goal is prevention and recovery in case of alcoholism and drug addiction". This is what Sister Julia Alvarez, who belongs to the Congregation of the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity, daughters of Don Orione (PSMC), reported to Agenzia Fides, speaking of the commitment that the religious carry out in the aid program to combat addictions, a phenomenon very widespread in Paraguayan society.
"Our task - explains the missionary - is to give continuity in different ways to the grace granted by our founder S. Luigi Orione". The Orionine charism is today exercised by the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity with multiple activities and assistance initiatives. "In our educational centers we carry out a pastoral service with the aim of evangelizing young people through a "synthesis" between the Gospel and culture, to form personalities with a critical and creative spirit, a capacity for dialogue and participation".
In recent weeks, the Paraguayan Chamber of Deputies Fight against Drug Trafficking has awarded Littlel Missionary Sisters of Charity recognition for their efforts in the fight against addictions. "A vicious circle - notes Sister Julia - from which it is very difficult to get out especially for those who are in a condition of fragility and vulnerability, and therefore more likely to fall into the traps of delinquency".
To meet these needs, the Sisters of Don Orione collaborate in various areas of pastoral care "alongside the people, together with the small communities, in families, in catechetical services to children and young people - reports the religious - we also take care of the pre-sacramental catechesis for adults, liturgical celebrations, charity services, training for the various ministries. In collaboration with other bodies or with other institutions - Sister Julia concludes - we try to respond concretely to the needs of women, children and young people, accompanying them towards a complete human and integral development".
According to a report by the Latin American National Secretariat for Drugs drawn up in the last months of 2019, young Paraguayans approach alcohol and drugs very early: cocaine and marijuana users are between 14 and 15 years of age; it does not go better as far as alcohol consumption is concerned, 60% are regular drinkers, while 38% have tried tobacco. 3.6% say they consume tranquilizers and tablets for weight loss.
The Little Missionary Sisters of Charity settled in San Juan Bautista in March 2018, in the Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption. They are also present in Paraguay with two other communities in the cities of Lambaré and Mayor Martinez. (ES) (Agenzia Fides, 1/8/2020)