Fatima is a place that always summons poeple by the evocation of Our Lady, and this year even more so because of the celebration of the Centennial of the Apparitions. This meeting, convened by the Teresian Association in Portugal, was attended by members of associations, friends, family, former students of university residences and their families, and various groups of the Teresian Association.
In the letter of invitation, it was said that the reason for the meeting of friends was to show the film POVEDA and to promote a better knowledge of the life of Saint Pedro Poveda and his work. It was the appropriate way to understand his words: "I, who have my head and heart in the present moment ..." and reflect on his way of acting.
The call was made taking into account the motto that encourages the Teresian Association this year of 2017, which invites us to have courage and clarity of vision, without fears. We believe that it is important to make this saint and exemplary priest and educator, Pedro Poveda, better known.
Odília Madaíl, coordinator of the Teresian Association in Portugal, said a few words of welcome. Then Sónia Rodrigues made an excellent introduction on the historical, socio-political, and religious context, which facilitated the understanding of different moments of the film, the life of Saint Pedro Poveda, and the charism that gave rise to the Association founded by him.
The emotion that the film generated in the participants was evident. In the afternoon, there was a dialogue and different people expressed their gratitude for the uniqueness of the life and faith of this Saint who continues to be a thrust, a sign, a challenge, and a hope that illuminates everyday life. Odília Madaíl, Jorge Albergaria, and Ricardo Bastos, when taking the floor, expressed in a simple way what the encounter with the life of Pedro Poveda and the mission of the Teresian Association have contributed to their life and to their way of being as members of the Teresian Association and of the Church.
The informal sharing of food also contributed to a friendly exchange. The meeting concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist in the chapel in the center of the Sanctuary, Domus Carmeli, presided over by Monsignor Luciano Guerra, former rector of the Sanctuary of Fatima and longtime friend of the Teresian Association in Portugal. At the end, a prayer written by St. Pedro Poveda was prayed:
"Lord, that I may think what you want me to think; that I may wish what you want me to wish; that I may speak what you want me to speak; that I may act as you want me to act. This is my only aspiration"
Joy and gratitude were expressed for this experience. This will be continued, given that the film gives much food for thinking. We will continue with Saint Pedro Poveda, seeking to respond to the challenges of today, in a spirit of strength and love.
Alice Rocha, Portugal