AMERICA/BRAZIL - Where the Ad gentes Mission has been a priority for decades

Wednesday, 23 February 2022 missionary animation   local churches  


Rio Grande do Sul (Agenzia Fides) - In the Sul 3 region of the Bishops' Conference of Brazil (CNBB), the Mission Ad gentes has been a priority since 1994, when the Church of Rio Grande do Sul became involved in the project "Sister Churches" with the Archdiocese of Nampula, Mozambique. Since then, for 28 years, the Region has sent missionaries and supports the mission which currently has four missionaries who are at the service of two parishes, for a total of 150 communities, and develops projects in the field of education in collaboration with the local community. An important sign of missionary commitment in Rio Grande do Sul, underlines the CNBB note sent to Agenzia Fides, is given by the consolidation and maintenance of missionary projects Ad gentes not only in Mozambique, but also in the Amazon region by the dioceses that make up the region. Each particular Church, a sister Church; each Region, an Ad gentes project beyond its borders. The challenge was proposed to the Church of Brazil by the National Missionary Program (2019-2023) and calls everyone to the mission of realizing an outgoing Synodal Church. Within the particular Churches, the Archdioceses of the State have constantly taken up the provocation that also comes from the General Guidelines for Evangelizing Action, seeking ways to consolidate ever more the pillar of the Mission in its reality and taking up the appeal to the projects of sister churches. Among the concrete signs of missionary commitment, the Sul 3 region of the CNBB mentions a recent event: the diocese of Montengro sent its first missionary to the prelature of Alto Xingu-Tucumã on January 31. Father Blásio Henz, who should stay three years in his mission in the Amazon, thus inaugurates the project signed between the diocese and the prelature. Aware of the challenges he will encounter, the priest stressed that he took with him the whole diocese of Montenegro, which joined this project with him. Msgr. Carlos Rômulo, Bishop of Montenegro, explains that the path towards the consolidation of the project of sister Churches has not been easy, but that there is now great ferment in the Church which sends its missionaries: "The fact that we have a sister Church and a priest from our diocese there means that we must all be missionaries here. It is a permanent call. The "Sister Churches" project is a treasure for those who send and for those who receive". Among the pioneers of missionary cooperation in this region is the Archdiocese of Porto Alegre, which in 1973 sent three missionary priests to what was then the prelature, now a diocese, of Xingu-Altamira, in the State of Pará. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 23/2/2022)