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Apostolic Movement

Advent celebration in Guayaquil with 500 participants.

By: Family League in Guayaquil

Advent is here… and the heart is filled with hope and joy. This season revives the life in our soul and fills the heart with light …

On Saturday, November 27th, the Family League of Guayaquil, Ecuador received more than 500 people in their National Shrine “Father’s Family, home for the world” who came to attend the Advent Conference with the motto: Your Bethlehem our joy.  This conference was framed within the Jubilee Year of our National Shrine.

Everyone was pleasantly surprised by the welcoming to this encounter, while carols were heard throughout the esplanade of the Shrine, complete families arrived: parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles; all together coming to light a candle that would lead us to a time of preparation, waiting and purification of the heart.

Adviento Guayaquil

The joy of waiting

The day began with welcoming words from the branch leaders, Fernando and Linda Arzube:

“Advent is here… and the heart is filled with hope and joy. This season awakens life in the soul and fills the heart with light during such a difficult time as the one we are living in today. We are in a world in which we must always carry Jesus with us, and we must share the joy of waiting for the birth of our savior with all the people we meet on our way.”

Pastorela with a Guayaquil flavor

Then, as a single family we raised a prayer to our Mother in heaven and prayed for the health of each of the members of our branch in these difficult times we are living.

We enjoyed a nice pastorela (Nativity play) performed by the joyful couples’ group “Forjadores de Familias” (Family Builders). The performance had a marked Guayaquil flavor, which amused all the attendees with the peculiarities of our customs and culture.

Pastorela Adviento

Four transforming notions to live the Advent season

In her speech, Sister Montserrat Darquea, advisor to the Family Branch, emphasized the joy with which we should live this time of preparation and waiting for Jesus to arrive, and the true meaning we should give to Christmas.

She pointed out four notions to live each week: joy in prayer, joy in forgiveness, joy in solidarity and joy for Jesus who is born in Bethlehem, in the Bethlehem within each heart, each family and the Homeland.

Community dynamics because we are a family

The families gathered for a group dynamic around a candle with a monitor to share Christmas experiences that have taken place in the shadow of their Home Shrines. The little ones played games, wrote a letter to baby Jesus, and colored the family of Nazareth.

One of the most beautiful moments of the day was when each one of the families approached the Shrine placing a photo of their families at its foot.

Before lighting the first candle of this time of Advent, Father Felipe Rios, national director of the movement, sent greetings and blessed the first candle from Bethlehem. After this, Fernando and Linda lit the first Advent candle and this flame was passed from family to family, lighting all the candles that they would take home with them.

In the shadow of our Shrine, a beautiful Advent Day was experienced, and countless and joyous echoes were heard as witnesses of a great family encounter.

You can also read:

Pope on Diocesan Youth Day: “Arise, bear witness to Jesus with your lives”


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