Family of Hope Celebrates 20 Years of “Going Out” to Meet the Neediest

In 1999 the Family was recognized by the Archdiocese of Aparecida. In the year of 2010 received the first decree of approval. Later, the definitive approval in 2015 confirmed that it is a God-inspired charism of its own - Hope

Family of Hope Celebrates 20 Years of “Going Out” to Meet the Neediest

Between November 15 and 16, about 400 members of the Family of Hope met in assembly at Fazenda São Libório, in Guaratinguetá / SP. The aim was to celebrate and reflect the 20 years since the birth of what, one might say, is the soul of the Farm of Hope, at the same time, looking to the future and officially welcoming new members.

In the beginning, the founders, Friar Hans Stapel, Nelson Giovanelli, Luci Rosendo and Iraci Leite, just wanted to live the Gospel. No one had the size of what would become the Family of Hope, nor how many would discover a vocation through it.

For Nelson, the meeting between the members was an opportunity to become aware of the gift that each one received from the experience of living the Word. "Gradually we began to understand, first the Farm of Hope. Then over the years that the Farm has sprouted what is most important, the Family of Hope, the members of the Family," he said.

Nelson explained that it is as if they were experimenting with Jesus, gradually understanding God-man. For him, Jesus became aware of his divinity over time, just as gradually fell into the hearts of all who is the Family of Hope.

Mary on her way out to bring Hope

On Friday (15), the image of Mary in Exit was enthroned to bring Hope in the Space of SIM. The story goes by this title of Our Lady, when Friar Hans received a visit from some of the Focolare Movement's citadel of Lopiano, Italy, who presented him with an image of Mary in Exit, which the Family now recalls. mission to go beyond the margins and reach the most needy.

According to Nelson, there was concern about which image to place in space. “No need to search, because She came to us herself. We ordered and they built it, they made it there in Italy. And then a process began to bring her into a furniture donation container that a Swiss wanted to give us, ”he explained.

The arrival of the image was planned before the party, but with the delay of the bureaucratic process for the container to be released, in total 23 licenses, he arrived at the Port of Santos the day before the Family of Hope meeting began.

“A better welcome could not have happened. If she had arrived earlier, she would have been greeted only by the boys. But it was welcomed by all Family members gathered in assembly, ”said Nelson Giovanelli.

Celebratory Theater and Show

Saturday (16), time to remember the ways God led the Family of Hope from the beginning. For this, not only the members, but the whole public can follow the Solo Band of Hope concert with the presence of various artists, such as singers Andreia Zanardi, Eros Biondini and Elizandro Sfreddo and the theater with the participation of young men and women received at the Farm of Hope.

For Nelson, it was a celebration of the gifts: “It shows precisely what Paul says, that there are many charisms available to the Church that generate one heart and one soul,” he said.

Gabriel Silva Magalhães, 18, from Santa Rita do Sapucaí, in the south of Minas Gerais, is in his sixth month of recovery and participated in the play. He said he was fulfilled to see the Family of Hope turn 20. “To be able to perform this theater, this dance for everyone in the Family who knows the Family, to be standing there cheering really is very pleasurable, very gratifying. You leave with the feeling of gratitude, ”he said.

But to achieve the goal of telling a story of 20 years through the arts, it took three months of hard rehearsal and a few hours of sleep. “We had to give up various rest times. Like, rehearsing at 18h after work until 22h, dinner later, coming home with everyone sleeping and just you awake, so it was kind of hard, I really had to be open-hearted, you know? ”Gabriel explained.

Nelson, looking back and remembering the whole story, renewed the desire to continue giving life and said he became more aware of the fragility and strength manifested through it. “It is impossible to imagine that it is the result of a human work, which we do. At times like these you clearly feel that you have an invisible, loving, caring hand behind you, ”he pointed out. For him, this is the strength of the realization of the promise that He would be present “where two or three are gathered in my name, here manifested in a powerful way,” he concluded.

By Leticia Dias

Credit: Adriana Martins Photos

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