Managua (Agenzia Fides) - As we approach the beginning of the liturgical season of Advent, "our first words are of joy and hope; because Christ makes his home among us, the strength of his new life and that of our Mother, the Virgin Mary, do not abandon us. Even in the midst of uncertainties and pains, the Kingdom of God makes itself present in our history, and many signs of a new world are manifested among we". This is what the bishops of Nicaragua write in the message of Advent that they address to all the people of God, after having held their annual Assembly from November 14 to 16.
The Bishops welcome the resumption of liturgical and pastoral activities in presence, continuing to maintain basic health measures for as long as necessary, and invite everyone to "walk together in hope", towards the same direction, in strengthening the commitment to a more humane world. "The reasons for joy do not prevent us from recognizing the concerns that the social, political and economic news of our homeland inspires in us", they continue, "in particular the migratory crisis, a reflection of a human drama which challenges us".
The Catholic Church in Nicaragua is also experiencing the synodal process desired by Pope Francis for the whole Church in the world, as a "time for participation and communion". "We must all walk together, no one must be left behind - exhort the Nicaraguan Bishops - we must all have the opportunity to grow and make Nicaragua a country of brothers". Then they continue: "Let us always try to do good, speak more and more like brothers and leave aside individualism". According to the pastoral priorities of the Episcopal Conference, they call for personal and pastoral conversion, in order to be, as Church, at the height of the mission that the Lord has entrusted to it.
The Advent liturgy should therefore be lived "as a time of prayer and reflection characterized by watchful waiting - that is, a time of hope and watchfulness - of repentance, forgiveness and joy". The bishops invite in particular to live "with great fervor" the novena of the Immaculate Conception, in each parish, chapel, family...
They entrust the journey of Nicaragua to Our Lord Jesus Christ, invoking the protection of the Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother of Nicaragua, "so that the nation may always follow the paths of peace and harmony".
Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes, Archbishop of Managua, participated in meetings with the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) at the Vatican earlier this month. He was received in private audience by Pope Francis and met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. During his stay in Rome, he also visited the International Seminary where some Nicaraguan seminarians from the Archdiocese of Managua and the Diocese of Leon study. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 19/11/2022)