Welcoming, listening, blessing. Fuensanta. Valencia. ODS 10 EN

From all parts of the earth: welcoming, listening, blessing.

Fuensanta. Valencia. ODS 10

German Padin cmf

Parish priest of Our Lady of Fuensanta

Claret Fuensanta School Pastoral Coordinator


Our mouths are full when we talk about ODS in today's world, and even the logo and, why not say it, the development of the different projects and programs that are carried out around the world, are very suggestive. But I ask myself: What is beyond all that the ODS presents to us? One of the great challenges we face is Inequality.


Social inequality is a socio-economic circumstance in which a group or community is treated differently by other subjects or groups in its environment.  This definition is centred on the economy, in my opinion important, but where is human inequality?


Surely you have heard more than once about social inequality, a term that in recent years has taken on special prominence when it comes to analysing international geopolitical relations or the inclusion of social sectors that, for various reasons, have been historically marginalised.


What does social inequality imply?


In almost all cases, social inequality entails, in addition to a situation of marginalization and isolation, the identification of those social groups that have been directly affected by this circumstance; they are identified and marked. Stay with this idea and reflect: how can this fact affect families with children? There is much more to tell... Let's continue!


The experience in the La Fuensanta neighbourhood (Valencia, Spain) is based on the diversity of nationalities present in the area. The Claret Fuensanta School has, at this moment, students of 36 different nationalities.


The experience of the Claretian Missionaries in the barrio always starts from the person. The person, each person, is the one who sets the guidelines for the work. There are three: Welcome, Attentive listening and Farewell (blessing).


Let us talk about concrete cases. The Muslim world, peace, dialogue and welcome, is set in motion from the moment we take into account that we, Christians, start from a common father, Abraham; moreover, we have the same end: peace, salvation... There can be no reproaches among us, everything adds up; there can be no "you plus", all that subtracts and does not make us grow; inequality disappears when borders are broken. Today the Muslims who live in the neighbourhood enter the parish church without any problem. They may not understand many things, but they do understand that they are welcomed and, most importantly, they are trusted, and this challenges us about a reality: "that the land we walk on is sacred"; that they are also children of God, children of Abraham.


Another group where inequality is palpable in all senses is the gypsy ethnic group. I won't deny that many times they disorientate me and I don't understand their way of acting; certainly, many times, they are the ones who separate themselves from society. But in the Roma world we have to discover the value of the family, respect for the elderly, their own scale of values. We have to break with archaic stereotypes that lead nowhere; with the Romany world we have to listen a lot, but we also have to speak out and make them see that many times it is they who take a step backwards. Here we no longer speak of "the land we walk on", but rather of "being nomadic pilgrims" in search of a common and concrete encounter which is coexistence.


I am very concerned about and hurt by today's Latin American migration; many of them migrate for political reasons. Today in our neighborhood this migration is not for economic necessity, but for stability of life. It hurts to see how doctors, engineers, teachers migrate... With all that this means in terms of loss of cultural level for their countries of origin, here the land is really impoverishing. Most of them have in the horizon to return to their countries when the situation there improves.


The three words that are part of our work in the Parish.


Welcoming - inequality is marked by the papers of legalization of stay in Spain ... and I wonder what is more important a certificate or instance or a name that is associated with a particular person? what is more important documents 036, 037, models to fill in data, or the name-person of Mary, Luis Alberto, Mohamed ... To welcome is to embrace, to empathise, not to put up barriers. To welcome, is to invite to the table and share what we have and fight in this "common house" that is our land. Even if the legalization papers are wet, or do not have an owner.


To listen. To allow oneself to be challenged, to listen to the different cries that are presented to us, cries that seek peace, encounter, tranquility; cries that ask for bread in today's world; cries of sickness. We must be attentive in order to listen; to welcome the truth, which is the truth of the disinherited of the earth.


To bless. Finally the blessing, to say well. I may not have much to give you, but I offer you the open doors. Blessed are those who seek and do not find, and those who seek and feel welcome. Blessed are the men and women with names and no papers. Blessed are men and women without papers, but with dignity. Blessed are all!


German Padin cmf

Parish priest of Our Lady of Fuensanta

Claret Fuensanta School Pastoral Coordinator


Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)