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Damien in Colombia

Foto: Padre Damián Foundation

In a relatively short visit to Colombia, Derek Laverty, SSCC visited the three communities that form part of the zone of Colombia in the Andina Province. Common to the three communities is the spirit of Damien. The Padre Damian Foundation is located in the community house in Barrio Bolivar, Bogotá. It was initiated by SSCC to ensure continuity of their work with vulnerable children.  As a registered Foundation it receive funds from the Government via the Columbian Institute for family well-being (ICBF).  The children receive psychological, medical, educational, social support in 7 dedicated centres. The foundation is helping approximately 1500 children. The community house also is home to the San Damian school that educates 150 children aged between 4-10. This school has been running for 50 years.

The parish of St. Damien of Molokai is located in Barrio Córdoba, Bogotá. At the time of Derek’s visit the parish was halfway through a novena to Saint Damien. Within this parish is a ‘St. Damien’ kindergarten that takes care of 150 children from the age of 2-4 years. The kindergarten is open from 7.30am - 5.00pm. This allows the parents to keep working. 

The third community, Damián de Molokai, is located in the Barrio el Diamante, Mosquera. This community is responsible for the parish of St. Anthony of Padua and a large barrio in the parish of St. Vincent de Paul that has taken the name of Damien.   The residents in this barrio are in the process of building a new chapel.  Approx 6,000 people live in the area. When I arrived there a meeting of the Catechists was underway. There are over 80 children attending catechism classes in this community. 

It is clear that much ‘good work’ is being done in the name of the Congregation and in the spirit of Damien for many poor people. 

Foto: San Damián kindergarten with staff and Fr. Henry Leonardo HERRERA ORDOÑEZ.

Foto: Meeting of catechists along with Leonardo CALDERÓN and Luis Alberto HERNÁNDEZ PINEDA.  


Foto: Altar servers praying before their meeting.