AMERICA/BRAZIL - Joint Statement of Seminarians: Challenges and Dreams of a Missionary and Synodal Church

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 pontifical mission societies   seminaries   formation   missionary animation  

João Pessoa (Agenzia Fides) - "We reflected on the realities that challenge society and the Church in Brazil and in the world, in the context of wars, poverty, hunger, misery, geographical and existential peripheries and also the challenges imposed by COVID-19. In doing so, we must hear Pope Francis' calls for a missionary, synodal and open-minded Church contained in the World Mission Day 2022 message," read a joint statement shared by the more than 330 diocesan seminarians and Brazilian religious (from 134 dioceses and 6 religious congregations) who attended the 4th National Missionary Congress of Seminarians (4Cominse) last week (see Fides, 14/7/2022).
"Through the enriching exchanges of encounters, assemblies and witnesses, we are already addressing the missionary commitment expressed in initiatives such as the further development of the Sisters' Church project, the implementation of the National Missionary Program, the expansion of COMISE, the missionary formation of seminarians, the Promotion of missionary actions, showing the articulation of COMISE through digital media and moments of missionary spirituality", says the declaration signed last July 17, "but there are still some challenges to be overcome: existing prejudices against mission, inertia, selfishness, lack of missionary enthusiasm, resistance to the incorporation of missionary pedagogy into school curricula, and a waning of missionary awareness". It is therefore essential to rediscover the missionary nature of the Church and also to adopt the paradigm of "missio ad gentes" as an integral part of the formation process. "We dream of a dialogue between seminarians, formators and bishops on a formation path that is also synodal", the document continues. "We dream of the centrality of mission in the pedagogical projects of the seminaries. We dream of being an open Church, present among the people, preferably among the poor and the young. We dream of personal, pastoral work and a structure that awakens a greater missionary awareness". In conclusion, the seminarians expressly undertake to make the most of their study and formation time, to pay close attention to the ecclesial and social reality of the regions from which they come and to redesign it with a renewed missionary spirit and to spend more time reading the missionary documents of the Church and for research into the missionaries ad gentes who worked in Brazil. (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 20/7/2022)