Federico, Director of Religion Department
The Director of the Religion Department sits down to talk about faith and his work.
April 2, 2018 - Honduras
"Federico has always been accommodating and has taught me a lot of music that we play in church," declares Estefan*, a child very involved in the religion department.
Federico, the Director of the Religion Department for the previous eight years, has created an outsized benefit for the children here at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Honduras. In working throughout the week and helping with the mass on the weekend, Federico is dedicated to foster a "life of faith" with each child.
"We always try to create an open and engaging environment for the children … Our classes and activities create a place for the children to find God themselves," Federico explained.
Working with the school located on the NPH Honduras ranch, the religion department runs an hour-long class where the children learn the basics of the faith, prepare to receive the holy sacraments, and live their faith in action.
"We have a lot of free time in the class and provide materials for the children, to understand God on their terms. We try to incorporate Montessori ideas of self-exploration into the classes. Drawing, painting, and reading are all important parts of our classes," Federico adds.
Outside of the classroom, Federico works with adolescents interested in deepening their faith. After receiving confirmation, children can join the religious youth group called "Children of Padre Wasson," named after the founder of NPH.
"With the youth group, we want to provide an outlet for children to deepen their faith. The children participate in bible study sessions, work in the older folks' home (Casa Eva), and pray the mysteries of the rosary," Federico continues.
By meeting with the children once a week, Federico keeps on top of the children's day to day lives through open office hours and works with the rotating groups of priests that administer mass at NPH.
"Together as a department, we also help prepare catechism and other parts of the mass," Federico explains.
Indeed, during our interview, two children sat adjacent to Federico's desk, practicing quietly for the next mass and Easter.
When asked about the importance of Easter and Holy Week at NPH, Honduras Federico explains: "The week and Easter are the centers of our faith and our faith is at the center of what we do here for the children."
In reflecting on the importance of religion for the children, Federico finishes, "NPH was started by Padre Wasson to help a child, based on the teachings of our faith. Faith and NPH go hand in hand, you cannot have one without the other."
*Child's name changed to protect privacy