THE Lux Mundi Centre in Fuengirola is a place for Ecumenical worship and somewhere for various groups of people to meet.
The centre was created in 1973 by catholic priest, Father Ramón E. Delius who saw a need for a place where people of different nationalities and Christian churches could meet and help each other.
There are now two centres with a second, smaller version being opened in Torre del Mar but both with the same aims which have expanded to help the lonely and destitute as well as offering a place of worship.
The Director and one of four who work full time in the self-funding operation is mother of three Gloria Uribe who was born in Bogota but has lived in Spain since 1984 and holds Spanish nationality.
She originally came to Madrid with her husband to study for a degree as she was working in banking but simply fell in love with Spain and transferred to Malaga where her mother was living to complete her doctorate in economics.
Living in Fuengirola, she discovered Lux Mundi and the charismatic Father Ramón whom she says “was such a wonderful man, very much committed to unity, to people, to our faith.”
Both Gloria and her husband became volunteers at the centre and because of their commitment to the ideals of Lux Mundi and its relationship with Christian churches helping people, they were asked to open the Torre del Mar branch which they did in 1993.
The president of the Board of Administration is the Bishop of Malaga and Gloria is responsible for the coordination of the work of the two branches in ecumenical, pastoral and social work.
“This is a very interesting job as I enjoy planning activities, organizing ecumenical events, helping people and sharing what we are as well as keeping the finances in order and obtaining funding” she tells RTN.
The two branches are open to the public from Monday to Friday and for the religious services held at Lux Mundi by different Christian churches. At the same time they promote ecumenism and unity in Malaga so are involved in many activities outside the centre. , It is thanks to the help of their 80 volunteers in both branches that they are able to help and promote such a variety programme of activities.
When asked about her hopes for the future, Gloria has a great deal to say; “Our hope and dream is to continue with our work of serving and helping others and be witnesses and testimony of unity amongst Christians.
“Our practical dream is to build an ecumenical temple as the one existing in Maspalomas (Gran Canaria) to be used for different Christian churches and be the place for retreats, ecumenical meetings, prayers, service etc.
“Our hope is also to touch the hearts of people to help us and to support our activities at the Fuengirola centre, where due to the amount of charitable organizations around us we notice our donors and supporters are reducing.
“We need the support of people to be able to help others, our premises are open to different local groups and our doors are open to anyone who needs help and or advice. We always try to help or guide people in the right way to solve their problems but for that we need an infrastructure which is difficult to run and finance.
“At the Torre del mar Centre the dream is to have more room, it is a very active and life place but we wanted to offer in both centres other possibilities related to ecumenism.”
A large number of people using their premises are pensioners so their activities are mainly for them. They help them to improve their Spanish, organise trips, quiz nights, fashion shows, concerts and lunches for them to enjoy as a family because loneliness is a big problem.
In addition and in direct support of those going troubled times, Lux Mundi distributes food to local food banks, as well as supporting local charities.
They started by giving sandwiches to local street dwellers but now run what the centre describes as a regular soup kitchen twice a week where on average 30 people attend for a free meal.
Modestly, Gloria says “There is always someone who comes to our door asking for food, a blanket, help, advice and as I said before we do not let that person leave without an answer to their needs.”
If any reader wishes to learn more about this very special organisation, please visit http://lux-mundi.org.