With encouragement in his recent letter of February 17th, our Superior General, Fr. Robert Epping, C.S.C., invites the members of the Congregation to participate in the Congregational Day of Fasting during any day in Lent which fits the community calendar. The ministry highlighted and sponsored this year is the Pro Andrés Center in Monterrey, Mexico.
A bit of background and photos for you, of the Pro-Andrés Center, located in the parish community of Nuestra Madre Santisima de la Luz parish in Guadalupe, Nuevo León, MX. Holy Cross has served in this poor and working-class community for more than thirty years.
The physical therapy center, Pro-Andrés (named after Blessed Miguel Pro and Saint Andre Bessette), was established after the parish identified that there were many people with special needs and disabled people living in isolation and vulnerability within the parish boundaries.
Padre Daniel Panchot, C.S.C., and other members of the parish began work on the dream of responding effectively with a physical therapy center. Building permits were obtained and a modest therapy center was constructed next to San Matías Chapel, one of the neighborhood chapels of the parish.
Soon after, a professional therapist was hired to bring physical therapy as a healing force to this community. Funds were donated and four physical therapy/massage tables were purchased along with privacy curtains and waiting room chairs. The Center, opened in February 2013, has been amplified and is now able to meet the physical (and spiritual) needs of those seeking therapy, even in hot summer months as the Center now has air conditioning for the comfort of the clients.
Throughout these five years, many volunteers have made the center a viable response to the therapy needs of stroke patients, disabled elderly, and others, who would have no other services available to them. These volunteers include the laity of the parish, Sisters of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross young men in formation as professed, postulants, or those serving on a pastoral year or summer experience, and others.
The need is great, the lines are always long, and the response is blessed. The center is only open from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Monday thru Friday. In 2017, there were 1,184 therapy sessions; in 2018 there were 1,020 sessions. If people are able to pay, a therapy session costs $40 Mexican pesos ($2.25 USD). This fee reflects the economic reality of the people served and no one is turned away for lack of funds.
As Holy Cross, we are invited to remember this great ministry in our prayers on our Congregational Day of Fasting throughout the Congregation, as well as to dedicate funds from our communities to be directed as a support to the Pro-Andrés Center in Monterrey, Mexico.