El Alto (Fides Service) - Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November, after 5 intense years of reflection, study and discussion, the diocese of El Alto in Bolivia closes its 1st diocesan synod with the presentation of a new Pastoral Plan 2006-2010. Priorities listed in the plan include: distribution and study of pastoral plan, formation of laity, religious and clergy, increase awareness among all the baptised of their responsibility to participate in the Church’s activity of evangelisation and human promotion. In this perspective, the pastoral plan 2006-2010, presents objectives, strategies and activities in the different areas of pastoral care: family, youth, Small Church Communities, laity, catechesis, liturgy, missions, inculturation and ecumenism, social pastoral-Caritas, healthcare, social communications, education.
To mark the closing of this 1st Diocesan Synod there is great expectation for a special Message from Pope Benedict XVI to be read by papal nuncio to Bolivia Archbishop Ivo Scapolo. On Friday 25 November after the arrival of all the diocesan delegates there will be a solemn Mass followed by the consigning of the new pastoral plan. Later in the day a video on the life of the diocese will be shown. On Saturday 26 November the first event will be a festive parade with at the head the Papal Cross followed by the announcement of the winner of a Synod Hymn competition and the solemn closing Mass. Considering the importance of the event for the local Church the Holy See through the Apostolic Penitentiary has granted the participants, with the usual conditions, the Apostolic Blessing and a plenary indulgence.
According to a statement from the diocesan communications office despite a situation of violence and conflict in the region and the city of El Alto in recent years, the local Church has succeeded in improving living conditions for both urban and rural people, giving particular attention to education and formation. A priority has been sound and ongoing formation for clergy and religious to enable them to serve their communities and vocations in El Alto diocese are flourishing. (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2005, righe 28, parole 386)