How could I ever imagine that that humble project that was born in Calcutta almost 20 years ago is now a six-storey building that houses more than 300 children.
This orphanage-hospital was followed by schools in Maharastra and Bihar. Thanks to those of you who supported this dream, today we are helping more than 1,000 boys and girls.
Many of our first students are now professionals and married, but they have not forgotten what we have done for them, and they follow our footsteps, because true social change must take place within the families and in the hearts of individuals
The hope of a society is measured by the love among its members, and that is what we have preached from my foundation. In a society like India, with a large religious plurality, they have abundance of rites and lack of love. That is the message of Mother Teresa, Vicente Ferrer, Federico Sopeña, S.J., Pedro Massanet, S.J., and many other missionaries before NGOs were invented.
On one occasion, I asked Jolly Luka, one of our teachers, why Hindus celebrate Christmas in their homes, and she replied: “For us, it is a day of hope.”
Only those who show their love for their works give us confidence, like those missionaries, and hope is born because we trust the hands that help us to get out of illness, hunger, exploitation, forgetfulness, loneliness …
When I arrived in Asturias from my last trip to Calcutta in May, I had a very sad impression: our young people are hopeless, because they cannot find a trusting hand, a cause to give themselves to. They have allowed their hope to be stolen, in spite of the advice of Pope Francis.
I propose that we also make this Christmas a time of hope where we will find that hand that will guide us in the darkness. The Nativity Scene inspires the trust of a child in their parents, but also of a society in the hands of Those who love us most.
Let us recover our confidence in the true Christmas message, because without love, there is no hope.
Armando Menéndez Suárez