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Five Years of Presence with New York's Latino Community

06/07/2019: United States

On the evening of Sunday 30 June, some 80 people gathered at the Marist residence in East Harlem to celebrate and give thanks for the 5 years of Marist presence in this neighbourhood. It was an emotional moment for the three current community members, from the Lavalla200> initiative: Martha Martinez (Mexico), Juliana Kittel (Australia) and Br James McKnight (USA). 

The community was established to provide a targeted service in this part of New York to the Latino community, many of whom are undocumented and hence living with great anxiety. As is the norm in such non-institutional ministries around the world, organised activities provide entry points into the lives of those being served in all their raw, complex, heart-touching reality.

The focus of the event was the achievements of the mothers and children who have been part of some of the activities of the community especially in the last 2 years: the children taking guitar classes with Martha, the mothers from the Prayer group and Bible classes, those who have been in the English language courses, coordinated by Jim, of the ComUnidad Juan Diego project. A time for Gratitude, Family, and Remembering.

Due acknowledgement was given to the various bodies that initiated and supported the community, especially the Arco Norte Region, to the original Brothers community and to the Lavalla200> community, the mixed community in place since the beginning of 2017.

Br Pat McNamara, Provincial of USA, represented the Regional leaders and Jeff Crowe represented the Superior General and the Lavalla200> members in other places around the world.  An abundant Mexican meal completed the evening.

The community will close at the end of July.

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