Tuesday, 17 June 2003

Guatemala City (Fides Service) - One of the challenges which the Church in America will discuss during CAM “, the Second American Missionary Congress, is the elaboration of a specific Missionary Project for Central America. Bishop Gerardo Flores Reyes, emeritus of Verapaz (Guatemala) who is a member of the Guatemalan Bishops’ Commission for Mission said this to Fides Service. “Since the first Central American meeting in preparation for CAM 2 – says Bishop Flores –, the hope was voiced that the Congress will be not only a solemn celebration but also the start of deeper and more committed missionary activity ad gentes”.
During the third preparatory meeting held in San Salvador (El Salvador) 22 to 28 November attended by more than 400 delegates from every diocese in Central America Rev.. Jesus Emilio Osorno, executive secretary of the Missions Department of the Council of Latin American Bishops’ Conferences (CELAM), presented a detailed project of missionary activity. The project was examined by a 4th preparatory meeting Managua (Nicaragua) from 5 to 7 February. On this occasion a commission was appointed consisting of a pastoral delegate from each country, who was to consult the bishops in view of making a survey among clergy and laity on the practicality, opportunity and concrete forms of execution of the project.
Information collected in the different countries will flow to a common project which will be examined by a 5th meeting in Panama from 29 July to 1 August this year. On that occasion everyone hopes that the missionary project for central America will be elaborated and then be submitted for approval by the respective Bishops’ Conferences of the SEDAC (Central American Bishops Secretariat).
“Among the five programmes contained in the project being examined special attention should be given to the plan to open a Central American Centre of Missionary Formation - said Bishop Gerardo Flores -, where priests, seminarians, religious and laity may find a place for discernment and adequate preparation for the missionary work ad gentes”. (R.Z.) (Fides Service 17/6/2003; lines 25; words 325).