A place of refuge for those overwhelmed by spiritual suffering

A place of refuge for those overwhelmed by spiritual suffering

“I see the Church as being like a field hospital after a battle.” Father Andrés Jaramillo has made these words of Pope Francis very much his own, and in Girardota, in Colombia, after the decades of civil war, he has established a fraternity that is intended precisely as a “field hospital” for wounded souls. The “Brotherhood of the sacred heart” aims to be a place of refuge and consolation for the despairing, the wounded, the lost and those overwhelmed by spiritual suffering. There are centres available for many other groups – the elderly, the children, the war victims, the homeless, the refugees. But for ordinary people in spiritual need there are none.

Lola Lopez, who had lost her only daughter, felt utterly broken, torn apart, annihilated. “I simply couldn’t stop weeping. I forgot to eat, to sleep, to live.” Father Andrés and his community invited her to spend a while with them, to pray and talk. “They didn’t ask questions, they didn’t demand anything. They took me by the arm and smiled at me.” Eventually Lola got back on her feet. “Love has overcome death”, she says. “This love without measure, selfless and undemanding, this is what healed my wounds.”

Now the fraternity wants to build a mother house for many such field hospitals in the future, both within and outside Colombia. ACN has promised funding for the ground floor – the first foundations for the ‘field hospital’ of the Good News.