AMERICA/PARAGUAY - "Encounter with the poor Christ": young people on mission in rural areas

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 evangelization   mission   youth   local churches  


Asunción (Agenzia Fides) - An army of 1,300 missionaries aged between 18 to 33 will crowd 13 rural areas and a juvenile prison in Paraguay from Easter Tuesday to Easter, with the aim of announcing the Good News to about 20,000 young people and adults who have scarce possibility to listen to it. "The faith of the young missionaries is solid and so many of them end up continuing their commitment to the Church", says to Agenzia Fides Fr. Pedro Kühlcke, ecclesiastical councilor for Catholic University Missions (MUC), on illustrating the initiative.
"I have always wanted to live the Holy Week more deeply" confides the young Ximena, who in this Holy Week will be in Coronel Oviedo Sur, like last year.
Each area receives young missionaries for three consecutive years, to give these communities solidity. "In many of these communities, for many reasons, due to distance, accessibility of roads when it rains, or the scarcity of priests, mass is celebrated once a month or even less frequently", explain the organizers to Agenzia Fides. "This is why - says Bruno - in the first house we entered, made of earth and straw" (typical of the Paraguayan countryside), "I realized that for that lady we would have been what most resembled a living Christ". "Often, the Guaranì language spoken in most of Paraguay but very rarely spoken in big cities – is difficult to understand what people tell us. But what counts is our attitude of listening". Rubén, a Chilean resident in Paraguay, confesses: "I met God in the eyes full of life of children, in the loving reception I received from the very first moment. I pray for this mission".
The Catholic University Missions (MUC), have reached the 18th edition inspired by the homonymous initiative of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, and are animated and promoted by young people of different charisms and ecclesial movements. The joy, the enthusiasm and the family spirit, but also the profound spirituality, characteristic of the Paraguayan people, move the missionaries, who will visit the inhabitants of the villages home by home bringing with them the Bible and the image of the most beloved Virgin Mary. 56% of the population of Paraguay is under 30 years of age. (SM) (Agenzia Fides, 20/02/2018)