AMERICA/BOLIVIA - "Desire of God in the distant communities": mission of the priests in the Amazon area of Chapare

Tuesday, 5 March 2019 evangelization   missionary animation   mission   extraordinary missionary month   priests   indigenous  

Corocoro (Agenzia Fides) - The vast Amazonian territory of the parish of Chapare welcomed a group of 19 priests and a permanent deacon of the prelature of Corocoro, together with Bishop Mgr. Percy Galván, for three days of sharing and mission, in one of the most isolated areas of the ecclesiastical circumscription. One of them, Fr Henry Soria, tells Fides that experience of a "Church that goes forth", carried out in mid-February, among the activities in view of the extraordinary missionary Month of October 2019. "Every year - explains the priest - the clergy of the prelature carries out a mission of fraternal coexistence as an opportunity to share pastoral experiences. This year we chose to visit some communities far from the parish church, made up of humble and poor families". "Even if we are not used to that climate and that intense humidity", continues Fr. Soria, "it was a unique experience. In these distant communities the desire for God was very strong", says Fr. Soria. The priest said he was "struck by the anxiety of listening to the word of God, of people who had never seen a priest in that neighborhood and welcomed us with great affection". On that occasion, "many priests, all together, concelebrated with the Bishop in the hall of their homes, after having blessed them and visited the sick".
Fr. Henry Soria recalls that "the simplest and poorest people are the ones who welcomed us with greater care. We got to know their environment, their way of life, we shared their pains and joys, administered the sacrament of reconciliation". And he explains that the majority are former miners who emigrated from La Paz and Potosí plateau when, towards the end of the 1980s, "mass layoffs occurred and the people, who had nothing, had to leave and look for a piece of land", which they found in the forest. Fr. Henry emphasizes the joy of the families who welcomed the group of priests, "happy to be with them, to share the Word of God and to help as much as we could". (SM) (Agenzia Fides, 5/3/2019)