“Missionary honeymoons” new alternative among Spanish newlyweds

.- An increasing number of newlyweds in Spain are deciding to turn their weddings and honeymoons into opportunities to reach out to those in need through “missionary honeymoons” or “gift registries” that benefit the needy.

The initiative consists of proposing that wedding guests deposit the money they would otherwise use to buy gifts into accounts that finance missionary and developmental projects in other parts of the world.  The newlyweds then make their honeymoon at one of these places in order to participate in an apostolic work.

The new idea began 10 years ago with a couple identified as Javier and Charo and little by little has gained popularity among young couples, for whom “the family is an instrument in the service of society and the Church.”  According to Rafa and Monica, another couple who participated in the program, “beginning our family life in this way is the best way to be an instrument of God at the service of all.”

Charo and Javier said it was a way “to begin our life together sharing that which was already fulfilling us individually.” They traveled to Mexico, first to the Yucatan and then to Guadalajara, where together with several friends, they built a school and helped children to attend.

Another case is that of Angel and Amparo, whose desire to live the sacrament of marriage by “helping others” led them to build a nutritional center and a school, and to purchase tools for a small town in Rwanda.  They accomplished all of this with the help of their 200 wedding guests.

“The people of the town had a party in our honor, they gave us gifts which they had made and a precious card thanking us for everything.  So in the end, 200 people celebrated our wedding with us in Spain and almost 300 in Rwanda,” Amparo said.

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