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Sodalitium Christianae Vitae - English / News  / CLM missions in Brazil, Argentina and Peru: “With fervent hearts and feet on the road”

CLM missions in Brazil, Argentina and Peru: “With fervent hearts and feet on the road”

Following Pope Francis’ call to carry out the evangelizing mission with “fervent hearts and feet on the path”, as his message for this year’s World Mission Day is titled, the Christian Life Movement (CLM) embarked on the missions during the month of July in various locations in Latin America.

Missionaries of the MVC Argentina.

Missionaries of CLM Argentina.

In Peru, the missionaries traveled to Tantará (Huancavelica) and Chiguata (Arequipa), while in Brazil, they carried out missions in the Caxambu neighborhood in Petropolis (Rio de Janeiro) and in Maués, in the diocese of Parintins, thus marking their first incursion in the Amazon. Argentina was also part of this evangelizing action, this year with a significant number of missionaries in Baradero (Buenos Aires).

The first MVC missions in the Amazon

Mission Brazil collaborated with the American group FOCUS, carrying out missions in Petropolis and Maués. The experience, according to the participants, was impressive and enriching, highlighting the community experience and the connection with people, despite the challenges of the Amazon environment. The lack of priests in the Maués parish and geographical distances presented challenges, but the faith and commitment of the lay people sustain the Church and the community.

São Joao Maues-Miri Community (Amazon).

São Joao Maues-Miri Community (Amazon).

Andrea Drewanz, head of the Mission Brazil team that participated in the first evangelizing trip carried out by the CLM in the Amazon, from July 10th to 21st, relates that “it was beautiful to see how the faith of these people is so alive! Even with so many difficulties and challenges they face, the laity are the ones who really sustain the church and maintain evangelical ardor in the communities”.

The biggest challenge for this reality in Brazil is being able to serve the 180 communities with only 5 priests in the parish, which is why they are not able to visit the most distant towns, which are approximately 10 hours from the parish headquarters.

“The lack of priests who closely monitor the communities is a problem, but the neighbors face it and overcome it, promoting youth meetings and bringing together adults whenever possible, to keep the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ alive”, he shares Andrea.

As part of the experience, the group of missionaries had to stay on a boat that served as transportation and lodging throughout the days of the mission.

It is worth highlighting the testimony of Father Oziel Cristo, responsible for the riverside and indigenous communities, who shared: “the most important thing in this mission was the availability and prayer life of these young people and their courage to leave their comfort zone, from their homes, to do evangelization in the riverside communities and in the parish of Maués”.

Missions in Caxambu – Petropolis.

Missions in Caxambu – Petropolis.

On the other hand, in the mission carried out from June 30th to July 5th, in the Caxambu neighborhood, in Petropolis (Rio de Janeiro), Giovana Garioli commented: “it was something incredible, I was able to understand the community more, make friends, learn of those who need to be heard and connect more with God”.

A great participation of missionaries in Argentina

“The first and main resource of the mission is those who have recognized the risen Christ, in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist, who carry his fire in their hearts and his light in their eyes”, the Pope writes in his message. It is thus that in the land of S.S. Francisco, 146 young people, including schoolchildren and university students, missioned in Baradero, also accompanied by some parents who helped with some tasks.

Mission of the MVC Argentina.

Mission of CLM Argentina.

Cata DeNotta was in charge of one of the groups made up of 80 young people and this experience allowed her to renew herself in prayer: “watching them pray rosaries or taking moments in the chapel to give up the day, made me remember my first missions and invited me to leave everything in the hands of God”.

“I return home with the lesson of trusting God and allowing Him to guide my life. On a mission with so many variables, I learned to trust the Lord and let Him lead. The talks about the Spiritual Ladder of Saint Peter in the training sessions also left a mark on me. Now, my goal is to apply this knowledge in my daily life and strive to live more deeply by his principles”, he shared.

For his part, our brother Pedro Zea commented that the great contribution of this group of missionaries lay in sharing how Christ has acted in each one, regardless of the duration of their faith experience. “We inspire people to recognize Jesus touching their lives and accompanying them daily”.

Preparation for this mission, both spiritual and practical, was crucial, Peter maintains. “With a team of 30 CLM members and six Sodalits, we began two months before with prayer days, selection of the motto and distribution of tasks. Four preparatory meetings bringing together all the missionaries, seek to cultivate friendship, promote the apostolate and a deep understanding of the motto (“Blessed are those who believe without having seen”, – Jn 20, 39), in order to be ready to announce the Gospel in the mission days”.

Peter told us that with this mission he has once again been amazed at the beauty of the Gospel, which is capable of transforming the lives of everyone. “Jesus trusted us to be witnesses of his love, and even though we were fragile and like clay vessels, He entrusted us with his gospel and it is in the announcement where grace acted superabundantly both in those who announced it and in those who generously opened it to us His life”.

Four young people from the CLM Chile joined the group of Argentine missionaries, including Benjamín Galaz, who shared with us that the most significant thing for him was “being able to share the faith with the people of Baradero with a very dedicated group”. “I had the opportunity to go from Chile and it was an immense joy to share with the Emevecistas and Sodalits of Argentina and get to know the beautiful spiritual family that has been formed there!”, He said.

Missionary experiences in Peru

In Peruvian lands, the missionaries worked in Tantará and Chiguata, where they found the opportunity for spiritual growth and personal learning. The mission was a transformative experience that involved community service and moments of prayer and deep reflection.

Missionaries during a catechism with children.

Missionaries during a catechism with children.

Gabriel Ramírez shared his experience in the Tantará-Huancavelica missions, highlighting how these experiences took him out of his comfort zone and led him to carry out an apostolate in a new environment. “Above all, I stay with the times of silence, of prayer and meditation, which helped us all a lot to reconnect with the Lord and to be able to realice that He was always there”.

For his part, Nayeli Meza shared that from the beginning to the end of the trip, he felt the company of God at every moment. He recognized that his work of evangelization in the town of Tantará was guided by Him. “God’s timing is perfect. I return home with many special moments in my memory, new brothers in faith and experiences that will help me grow in my spiritual life”.

Our brother Luis Alfonso Sánchez, organizer of the missions in Tantará, had a privileged vision when perceiving how God manifests himself in each young missionary, revealing “his desire to live in the key of mission, in the key of sending towards the people who need it most”. Furthermore, he recognized the vital essence of the apostolic community by stating that “the key to Christian life is community, an apostolic community, a community that has a clear mission, an evangelizing mission”.

The testimony of service of the priest who accompanied them, who with his simplicity and generosity reminded him that “a life dedicated to God and service is a valuable calling”, questioned him deeply.

“What we did was sow a seed that God through will bear fruit that we will not see”, trusting in divine providence. Ultimately, Luis Alfonso and his team recognize that God was with them and trust that his dedication will generate an “apostolic, evangelizing beginning that will move forward with the grace of God”.

Arequipa: “A loving and selfless service in the middle of the cold”

The missions were carried out in Chiguata, Espíritu Santo and Salinas Huito, Arequipa-Peru, with pastoral visits in homes and catechetical activities in educational centers, where, according to our brother Alejandro Ponce, “the demand to provide loving and selfless service in the face of to the cold, to sleep and the need to trust in the Holy Spirit” marked the experience, especially for those who carried out their first missions.

Missionaries of the San Pablo Catholic University.

Missionaries of the San Pablo Catholic University.

In these missions they were organized by the Apostolate area of ​​the San Pablo Catholic University (UCSP), “coexistence and fraternal love grew through prayer and service in common, and they lived intense moments of conversion and service, as disciples in a context of availability to the apostolate”, says Alejandro.

For his part, Joaquín Lévano discovered how service educated him in the will of the Father: “The moments in which we went out to meet the brother were the moments that taught me to step aside so that they do not see me, but rather the Lord”, thus revealing his learning in humility and love towards his neighbor. Inés was shocked by the ardent spiritual desire of the people: “I was moved by the hunger for God, many people came to ask for cards with prayers, they blessed as much as they could, I think now that the world asks God for help, and He It is called to spread the fire of your heart, it is the Mission”.