São Paulo (Agenzia Fides) – The IV Brazilian Week of Catechesis held in Itaici, São Paulo, from November 14 to 18, tried to "rethink the proposal and to deepen the meaning of initiation into Christian life according to document 107 of the National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil - CNBB", says theologian Edward Guimarães, one of the speakers present, to Agenzia Fides. The meeting was attended by over 220 lay catechists from all corners of Brazil, and another 425 people including Bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious. Also His Exc. Mgr. Octavio Ruiz Arenas, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization was present, who illustrated the challenges of the new evangelization in the context of a secularized culture, closed to God.
Guimarães commented that "a more participatory methodology, with spaces to illustrate the experiences among the participants" was lacking, however at the end of the meeting "we were all enriched thanks to reflections and are called to rethink our catechetical practices and the community experiences of Christian faith, to proclaim and witness Jesus Christ incarnate in the reality in which we find ourselves".
Mgr. Mario Antonio da Silva, Bishop of Roraima and member of the Episcopal Commission for Biblical Catechetical animation, told Fides that "we tried to make sure that the initiation into Christian life is the axis that articulates the evangelizing action, for a decidedly missionary Church", insisting on the
"formation of communities and on ensuring that, in announcing the joy of the Gospel, they become missionaries, putting into practice what Pope Francis asks us, to be a Church that goes forth" . Therefore he observed that only in this way "our Church will be able to reach the human, existential and geographical peripheries, especially of our Amazon".
The Bishop also told Fides that the challenges that exist cannot be ignored, but we must be courageous and live the process of initiation into Christian life with enthusiasm, and to do this it is important, "to thank all the catechists who work in anonymity, tirelessly for the evangelization of our communities". We need to walk together, "so that our Church may be missionary, prophetic and merciful", continues Bishop Da Silva, "so that the teachings of the Kingdom of God, which are justice, joy, peace and fraternity, are achieved in the lives of all, especially the poorest, those who in our Brazil and in our Amazon are the most threatened by big projects, alienating religions and corrupt political practices". Finally, Bishop Da Silva emphasizes "the many joys of the journey undertaken, are to be carried out by being aware of the fact that we need new languages and processes of communication and evangelization". (LMM) (Agenzia Fides, 22/11/2018)