Uruguay is a small country in the south of South-America. Its capital is Montevideo, a city with many trees and beautiful white beaches that provide a special framework.
About 80 years ago, the Brothers of Our Holy Mary of Mercy arrived here. They settled down in the Cerrito de la Victoria, a workmen’s quarter. In this way everybody could contact them and could come to know Mgr. Victor Scheppers’ charisma.
1931 was the beginning of the College and The Grammar School (Lyceum) of Mercy. The institute educates boys and girls from their second year onwards in the infant school till they’re 17 or 18 years old, when they get their bachelor’s degree.
Extra School activities
Besides the school program, the institute organizes camps for children, as well for primary school pupils as for secondary school pupils. Living together, playing together and amusing themselves in an atmosphere of happiness and sharing together. But besides sports and games, they also make time for God.
The elder pupils followed monitoring courses so that they can take part in the activities of the youngsters later.
The Merciful Student’s Day
In September they celebrate the Merciful Student’s Day. In Uruguay this coincides with the beginning of spring.
While working in small groups, the secondary pupils change their auditoria in absolutely unrecognizable places . Each group has about one hour to decorate their room in the theme they’ve chosen.
They pay attention to the atmosphere, the decoration, the choreography etc. It is a magnificent feast where pupils and teachers work together.
The Family of Mercy
On Saturday 28 June 2008 the Family of Mercy hold its first reunion. It concerns a group of laymen, (officials, parents, friends of the foundation) who feel closely involved with the Congregation of the Brothers. They want to go deeper into the subject of Charisma and life according to Mgr Victor Scheppers.
During this meeting, Brother Freddy introduced the theme. He gave rules and aims, linked to a simple but significant celebration during which the signs brought us closer to the inspiration we like to experience. Maria Navarro told us about her experiences during the first meeting with CEDES in Belgium. Later the group drafted some rules like:
Each First Saturday of the month you have to attend the celebration of the Eucharist together; each day you’ve to say the prayers of the Congregation: the Office of the day, the Prayer to our Holy Mary of Mercy and say the prayer to get the beatification from the honourable priest Victor Scheppers. Besides it was decided to edit an educative and informative bulletin (newsletter).The first specimen has already been published.
The Merendero Solidaridad Misericordista (The dining-room of the Merciful Solidarity) was set up in 1987 as an initiative of a few monks and with the support of the Friars of Mercy. This restaurant is meant for children and families who have socio-economical problems and it started in the buildings of the College and of the Lyceum of Mercy.
Although it is their most important job, the Merciful Solidarity doesn’t only care for food. Already from the beginning the tasks were enlarged: stimulating meetings with families, organizing visits, render assistance and giving information in difficult circumstances as well as visiting and helping prisoners. All these tasks can only be realized thanks to the work and the unconditional support of the many volunteers who are involved in the Social Work, as, without them, this would never have existed.
After a while it was necessary to move the Merendero to the neighbourhood where the intended target group lived. This specifically in view of integration and publication. Therefore the Merendero moved to the Congregation of the Brothers of Scheppers.
Nowadays the Merendero is the support for 250 children and grown-ups. Not only for food but since 2005 also for homework support and coaching lessons: about 65 children daily pass by.
In 2007 this institution was presented in the schools of the region. Today there is an informal consultation with the teachers of those children to know their problems. Besides that, those children also get ICT-lessons, musical expression and gymnastics and this because of an agreement with the Centro Comunal Zonal and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
They came to an agreement with the Ministry of Social Development in 2008 and in the institution the program “En el pais de Varela si puedo” (In the country of Varela, I can do it), is running.
14 mothers and fathers participate in this “Alphabetical Program”.
The domain of sports
The sports domain of the Colegio Y Lyceo Misericordista is set up in the Calle C. Repetto 4823, near the Piedras Blancas district. Its name is Father Victor. This sports domain belonged to the Lyceum San Juan and got hold of the Brothers of Mercy in 1996.
The most important purpose of the Domain is to offer the primary and secondary school pupils relaxing activities. Year after year the Brothers can improve the accommodation so that they now have the disposal of a football field with prescribed dimensions and an extra field, a field for football seven against seven, a space for two volleyball fields, a sandy plain to practice athletics, two cloakrooms with 10 showers each, toilets, an office, a space for events etc…
The Brothers think that sports are a useful instrument in the education and so, they pay a lot of attention to the maintenance of the accommodation. The sports domain also benefits the society. Therefore the teams of the Liga Universitaria can also make use of it. Year after year tournaments between parishes and educational institutions of the region are held over there.
Papa- football was organized in 2008. This activity was held on Sunday forenoon and is meant for the pupils’ fathers.