Three national communities in South America received Fr Laurence in August: Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.
Uruguay (10-12 August)
In the first day, he attended to a series of meetings: with priests, group coordinators, catechists, the local Catholic TV channel and meditated with a group of children from many parts of the country. The visit included also a weekend retreat, a meeting with Sister Nibia (community member recovering from an accident) and a talk in a parish in Montevideo. Philippe Sauval (National Coordinator for Uruguay): It is been three years since the latest visit of Fr Laurence in Uruguay. He saw a Community expanding and encouraged the outreach work, in special a group who leads meditation in prisons. He was moved when met with the group of children. In September we will have the third retreat for children, with participants from all over the country, which is a wonderful experience.“
Paraguay (13-15 August)
The first day in Paraguay also included meditation sessions with hundreds of students, from “Teresian School” in Asunción. In his talk to teachers and parents, he highlighted the importance of meditation and of attention in these times of distraction. In the next day, after a meeting with the Archbishop of Asuncion, Edmundo Valenzuela, Fr Laurence blessed a property which was donated to the local community. He recommended that it should be developed like a “little Bonnevaux”. The visit ended with a silent retreat in Tuparenda. Mary Meyer (National Coordinator for Paraguay): The 65 participants, strengthened in their faith and hopeful about the future of their Church, left the Retreat energized and joyful. Likewise, the board that had worked so hard to coordinate the event, bade Father farewell feeling even more committed than ever to this lovely Community. Thank you, Father Laurence!
Argentina (16-19 August)
Fr Laurence arrived in Argentina on the 16th and gave two talks: the first one at Columbia Foundation, on the theme “Spirituality in a secular age.” Then at the Cathedral of San Isidro “Holiness, what does it mean in the 21st century?”. In the next day, he met with Bishop Monsignor Ojea who was very supportive to Christian Meditation. The next visit was to Sacred Heart School of Lomas de Zamora, where Fr Laurence spoke and meditated with the students. The visit ended with a silent retreat at San Juan Evangelista in the location of Tristán Suarez with 100 retreatants.José María Chaher (National Coordinator for Argentina): What can we say of this blessed retreat? Fr. Laurence was taking us between Talks, Meditations and Silence to a personal encounter with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What made us discover that the picture of our life we are painting with all the things that we live and all the people and circumstances that are part of it. We have to have a contemplative mind and an equanimous heart to be able to see our painting every day because every day is a combination of Lights and Shadows