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Kiko Argüello: A look at the Spanish slum, that gave rise to the Neocatechumenal Way


Initiator Neocatechumenal Way
"I came from a well to do family with a solid formation....I would ask myself, why has that little girl been raped by her father, for years? Why has this little boy, witnessed his mother's murder? Suddenly I realized that the solution was Christ.  (FLASH) I was in that high end environment when I thought: If Jesus comes today, I would like to find myself at the feet of the Cross, with the poor and marginalized. So I dropped everything and went to live in a horrible neighborhood of shacks and huts.”

In this troubling environment, he met Carmen Hernández. Together they began to teach a catechesis program, that eventually gave rise to "Kerigma.” It's a Greek word that means 'good news.' Their mission was to proclaim the Gospel to those who had never heard about it or even understood it. It was a way to renew hope in those who had lost faith in God.

Initiator Neocatechumenal Way
"If the devil says that there's no God, no Creator, no need to belong, then people begin to ask-who am I? What role do I have in this world, if the very source of my being does not exist? People want to be loved, by their family or spouse. To be loved by someone and to give love to someone. Most people who commit suicide do so because they don't have love. They search and realize that without love, they do not belong to anyone or anything.”

Despite the troubles of living in a slum, he also lived happy and interesting times there. To keep warm, he would sleep surrounded by dogs. One day, as he volunteered as a teacher, he remembers being late because of the dogs.

Initiator Neocatechumenal Way
"The dogs were following me, so when I went down to the metro, I thought, thank goodness. I made it. Then I looked back and saw about 15 dogs running down following me. The police stopped me immediately. I tried to explain that they weren't mine, but the officers said, 'What do you mean they are not yours?'”

All these experiences are described in his book, which translates to 'The Kerigma: Living in the Slums with the Poor.'  An English version is still in the works. All proceeds will go to families who leave everything behind and set out on a  mission to evangelize in countries with a Christian minority.

OFL @ odelafu /KLH
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