Encounter Lent 2019-Week #1

Portrait Of Norma Candelaria Pu Perpuac, 23,  With Her Son Victor Adelson, 5, After Cutting Oranges From Trees Planted Near Hear House In Chuizacasiguan Village In Santa Lucía La Reforma, Department Of Totonicapan, Guatemala. She Was A Beneficiary Of Catholic Relief Services' Food Security Program In The First Thousand Days (SEGAMIL) That Works To Reduce Chronic Malnutrition In Children Under Five Years Of Age And Strengthen Access To Food For 9,000 Rural Families.

Photo By Oscar Leiva/Silverlight For Catholic Relief Services

Life and Dignity of the Human Person

Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Life and Dignity of the Human Person, Jesus reminds us that we are all made in God’s image and likeness. That means that every human being has a special value and a purpose. We need to care for each other so we can be the people God calls us to be.

Story of Hope #1: Encounter Norma

For young families living in the mountains of Guatemala, raising a baby can be hard. Most families grow corn and beans for a living, but a long-standing drought has caused harvests to shrink. There are few job opportunities, which means putting food on the table is a daily challenge.  That’s why when Norma discovered she was pregnant, she wondered how she would manage. “When I was young, my mom and dad didn’t have money to buy much food,” she says. “My mom would split one egg among four children.” Norma wanted more for her son, Victor.

But at age 20, she didn’t have much experience beyond helping her mother around the house. So, she looked for help. She found it in a CRS-sponsored program that teaches young mothers how to raise healthy children, grow nutritious food in small gardens and manage a healthy diet. Plus, CRS provided Norma with food throughout her pregnancy and monthly medical check-ups during Victor’s first two years of life.

“I learned a lot of beautiful things,” Norma says. “I learned how to take care of my boy and what foods to feed him so that he can grow healthy and strong.”

Now, Norma is sharing what she learned with others as a “mother monitor.” “It makes me proud to share the experience I had and the lessons I learned with other women,” she says. It makes Norma proud—and makes her community a better place to raise a family.

For more information on ways to share the Lenten journey with our human family around the world, please visit the Diocese of Honolulu’s CRS page and the CRS website on How to Practice Lent.

Lenten Recipes: Meatless meals from around the world

Black Bean Soup-Guatemala