AMERICA/ECUADOR - Towards CAM 3: countless Diocesan Missionary Congresses to elaborate on the proposal of each particular Church, to be presented in the National Missionary Congress

Monday, 14 April 2008

Quito (Agenzia Fides) - In preparation for the Third American Missionary Congress (CAM 3) that is scheduled to take place in Quito, August 12-17 of this year, the Archdioceses, Dioceses, and Vicariates of the country are sponsoring a series of Diocesan Missionary Congresses (CODIMIS), according to a statement made to Agenzia Fides from Osvaldo Fierro, Executive Secretary of CAM 3. These missionary encounters are dedicated to the common objective of elaborating a proposal for each parish, so that each one can prepare their contribution to the CAM 3, when they meet in the National Missionary Congress in anticipation of the continental event.
Among the Diocesan Missionary Congresses this month, there was one in Loja (April 3-6), attended by over 300 people from all different parishes who met in a school run by the Daughters of Charity. There were workshops and group projects on two of the three main themes of the Third American Congress: Discipleship and Evangelization. The opening Mass was presided by Bishop Carlos Altamirano and the closing Mass, with a missionary sending of 150 people, was presided by Bishop Vicente Ortega.
April 12, Latacunga celebrated its Diocesan Congress, attended by over 350 people from various parishes. The participants reflected on the three main topics in the Workbook that has been prepared for CAM 3. According to Fr. Eduardo Guerrero, Diocesan Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Latacunga, the objective of the Congress was that the pastoral ministry workers and the community in general be inspired and filled with enthusiasm, setting off on the missionary adventure.
The Diocesan Congress in Sucumbios opened with the arrival of the participants on April 11. The nearly 120 participants reflected on the theme: “The Church in Missionary Discipleship” on April 12, and that same evening attended a missionary concert. According to Magdalena Vallejo, Diocesan Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Sucumbios, the objective of the Congress was to strengthen the missionary Church with the help of communities that are responsible for bringing the Gospel to the most remote areas. The closing Mass took place on April 13 and was presided by Monsignor Gonzalo Lopez Marañon, Apostolic Vicar of Sucumbios.
The Missionary Congress of Los Rios took place in the city of Ventanas, on April 13. The theme was: “Los Rios with Christ,” with the objective of encouraging the groups and communities to journey and work together under the lasting protection and inspiration of God. The Diocesan Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the city, Fr. Brandon Nguyen Fied spoke on the preparatory activities organized in the parishes, evident in the workshops attended by the 300 participants in the Congress.
On April 12, in the auditorium of La Inmaculada school in Quito, the Archdiocesan Congress was celebrated. There were over 1300 participants, which served as a confirmation of the spirit among the Ecuadorians for living the upcoming American Missionary Congress. Bishop Rene Coba Galarza, Auxiliary of the Archdiocese welcomed the participants. The first talk was given by Fr. Moacir Goulart, MSC who spoke on the theme of Discipleship. The second talk was given by Fr. Louis Cabrera, OFM and was a reflection on Pentecost, another one of the themes found in the Workbook. Finally, Boris Tobar spoke on the theme of Evangelization in the third talk. In the afternoon, various missionaries gave their testimonies and later there were group projects by continents and a general assembly was held. The Mass was celebrates by Archbishop Raul Vela Chiriboga of Quito, Primate of Ecuador. The Congress ended with a true missionary celebration and a Arts and Music Festival and Concert.
In addition to these, there have also been Diocesan Missionary Congresses in Cuenca (October 14, 2007); Napo (November 9-10, 2007); Aguarico (January 26-27, 2008); Ibarra (February 16, 2008); Ambato (March 1, 2008); Esmeraldas (March 3-6, 2008) and Zamora (March 8, 2008). The National Missionary Congress (CONAMIS) will take place May 2-3 in Cuenca and will be attended by representatives from all the parishes that have taken part in the preparatory activities for CAM 3, that are familiar with the situation of the missions in the country and in Latin America and above all that have a true missionary awareness. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 14/4/2008 righe 56, parole 695)