Santo Domingo (Agenzia Fides) - On 21 January, the Dominican Republic celebrates the Feast of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia. In the particular context of this month dedicated to Our Lady and the Year of Faith, the Catholic Bishops' Conference offers a broad reflection of the national community with the pastoral Letter entitled "Stand firm in faith" (1 Cor 16:13), dated January 21, of which a copy was sent to Fides Agency.
"This year’s slogan for the National Pastoral Plan, which states: 'With faith and fellowship we build the community', invites us to build and develop communities and families in fraternity and in a solid faith" says the 14-page letter. The Bishops, after the Holy Father's invitation to live the Year of Faith in the family, draws attention to the deteriorating situation of families and the increase of crime, insecurity, drug trafficking. They also speak of the public and private corruption, gambling and alcoholism which are on the rise, and even the individualistic search of easy money and consumerism.
The pastoral Letter urges then vigorously to combat violence in the family and against women, invites us to restart the values of family union, faith, love and optimism. "We urge people to appreciate and respect our women, who are our wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, grandmothers; our women who are workers, fighters, entrepreneurs and committed to the values. We must pray to God who gives us faith as a gift, which leads us to the research and experience of attitudes that strengthen family life," the document concludes. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 18/01/2013)