Photo Essay: Living the Catholic Faith at NPH El Salvador
Despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, our home in El Salvador celebrated Holy Week in a unique way and reinforced the Christian values kids are taught in NPH homes.
April 15, 2020 - El Salvador
Easter is one of the most important events of the liturgical year. Each event during Holy Week helps Catholics reflect upon the Passion of Christ. At NPH El Salvador, Holy Week is celebrated with enthusiasm on the part of the kids who love participating in the events.
This year NPH El Salvador did not have our chaplain onsite at Casa Sagrada Familia, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Fr. Job Foote sent an Easter message to the entire NPH family from a monastery in Pennsylvania, U.S.
Further, it was difficult to bring a local priest into the home as we sometimes do, due to quarantine restrictions. Therefore, we adjusted our planned activities. The celebrations were different than usual, but still maintained the importance and solemnity of the season.
Diego Zavaleta, a religion teacher at the NPH school, along with Andrea Flores, a psychologist who has taught catechism, developed the week’s activities with liturgical guidance from Fr. Job.
All the caregivers and children cut palms during the morning. Then in the afternoon, the palms were soaked in Holy Water. The children and staff then made a procession to the chapel where Diego read the Gospel of the day and shared a reflection.
The children gathered at the chapel to read the day’s Gospel passage. As part of the Holy Thursday tradition, the children had their feet washed by an elder as a priest would have done in Mass on this day. Then, they joined in a special meal to commemorate the Last Supper.
The kids participated in Stations of the Cross. At night, the older kids watched the movie The Passion of the Christ.
During catechesis, children made paper crosses, which were then burned in a bonfire to complete their act of penance. They also read the Gospel passage of the day together.
The kids gathered at the soccer field, where Easter mass is usually celebrated, and read the Gospel. Afterward, they shared donuts with chocolate milk, a regular Easter tradition in the home.
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Communications Officer, NPH El Salvador