Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - "We live immersed in general chaos present at all levels of social and personal life: often non-existent basic public services, political actions separated from the common good and development, insecurity and helplessness, vulnerable family life in its ability to manage and meet its needs, inflationary and dollarised economy, affecting almost the entire population, paralyzed education ... The Covid-19 pandemic has spread exponentially in different states, currently reaching several thousand infections and dozens of people have died. This pandemic was, at the same time, a paralyzing element of a substantial part of ordinary activities and highlighted the already present crisis, in particular aggravated by the weakness of the health system, the sad situation experienced by emigrants returning to their country, without resources or safe life expectancy, as well as a shortage of petrol and other necessary supplies". With these words the Argentine Bishops’ Conference describes the current situation in the country, in an exhortation published at the end of their Ordinary Assembly, entitled "Your God is with you, he will not leave you and will not abandon you" (Dt 31.6), with the date of July 10th.
The Bishops stress that the pilgrim Church in Venezuela is also affected by this profound crisis, and they urge to look at reality in the light of faith, certain that the Lord never abandons his people. "This full trust in God puts us in action - they urge -. We Christians are called to rebuild the Venezuelan reality, impregnating it with prayer and with the transforming power of the Gospel, but also with action".
As part of the work of the Ordinary Plenary Assembly of the Episcopate, which was held in a virtual manner, Fr. Ricardo Guillén, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Venezuela (PMS), who presented the missionary agenda for the coming months, especially for the missionary month of October. According to the note of the Bishops’ Conference, the PMS National Director informed that the October missionary campaign wants to offer the Church in Venezuela the opportunity to reflect on the opportunities and challenges that today's reality offers us. The campaign has the theme "Life is mission" and is illuminated by the biblical quote of Isaiah 6,8 "Here I am, Lord, send me". "Mission is a way of being in the world of Christians, who live in the joy of meeting God and the community, are bearers of abundant life and with their testimony they attract others to the experience of discipleship", explained Father Guillén.
Mission month of October will have 4 thematic areas: the missionary vocation at the service of life; the missionary Church, to defend and promote life in abundance; refugees and migrants, fragmented lives; ecological conversion for the life of the world. These themes can be developed following the indications of various prepared aids. Father Guillén also announced 4 webinars that will address the missionary vocation, the missionary Church, refugees and migrants, the ecological conversion for life in the world.
Another special missionary animation event is the 6th National Congress of Young Missionaries, to be held online from 21 to 30 August 2020, the central theme of which will be "The young and the current challenges of the mission", in the light of the Apostolic Exhortation Christus vivit and in the context of the preparation of the National Pastoral Assembly.
The PMS National Director concluded his speech at the Assembly of Bishops by sharing a message from the Venezuelan mission Ad Gentes in the diocese of Tete, Mozambique. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 14/7/2020)