Guatemala City (Fides Service/ANS) – Since Pentecost, every Sunday many churches in the indigenous Carcha and Chisec mission in northern Guatemala have been celebrating sending of missionaries ceremonies. This is one response to the Holy Year of Mission being celebrated in Central America in preparation for the Second American Mission Congress CAM 2 which will be held here in Guatemala this coming November. In Carcha and Chisec mission about 1,526 lay Indios missionaries prepared for three months before undertaking evangelisation in rural communities throughout the territory. Like the first disciples sent out by Jesus, the missionaries go in pairs from house to house inviting Catholics and non Catholics, distant or on the margins of church life, to embrace seriously the Gospel of Jesus. The difference in this new missionary endeavour lies in the fact that it is no longer question of gathering people together for a collective work of evangelisation as in the past, but rather it is the missionaries who go from home to home building personal relationships.
The eleven Salesian Fathers entrusted with this mission territory assist 417 communities of Qeqchi Indios. The sending ceremony takes place within the celebration of Sunday Mass in the presence of representatives from Qeqchi communities. The ceremony is solemn because the community is aware it is assuming directly or indirectly, missionary commitment. Another successful undertaking is missionary formation for women and children which is something very new among the indigenous communities where mission was hitherto reserved for men only. SL (Fides Service 10/7/2003 EM lines 20 Words: 263)