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Sodalitium Christianae Vitae - English / News  / First international solidarity meeting promotes collaboration and joint action

First international solidarity meeting promotes collaboration and joint action

Under the motto “called to be apostles of reconciliation at the service of those most in need”, 61 members of the spiritual family that has been growing around the Sodalitium of Christian Vitae, among leaders and collaborators of our solidarity works, met in the City of Arequipa (Peru).

During the event, which took place from Thursday, April 11th to Sunday, April 14th, various activities were carried out with the aim of strengthening our solidarity apostolate and commitment to each of the works we are in charge of.

A supportive space

On the first day of the meeting, the participants, divided into two groups, visited charity works in the city of Arequipa, in which the Sodalitium of Christian Vitae has been carrying out its apostolic mission for 39 years.

They visited the Saint John the Apostle School with 820 students, located in the Pueblo Joven Villa Cerrillos in the Cerro Colorado district, made up of families in extreme poverty and with a majority of homes that still lack basic services. While another group went to the San Vicente de Paúl Home that houses 25 abandoned grandparents.

Subsequently, the participants had a spiritual day that culminated with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The second day focused on the charismatic-apostolic dimension, with presentations of solidarity works, group work and dialogues on safe environments.

Towards the third day, the day focused on the apostolic community and the temporal dimension, with training, reflections on sustainability and presentations from international institutions. The event concluded on the fourth day with common mission activities, dialogues on future initiatives and the Holy Mass, placing the fruits of the event in the hands of God.

One of the notable characteristics of the meeting has been the spaces filled with the Easter joy that springs from the experience of being gathered as brothers. Thus, at the end of the homily delivered at the final Mass, Bishop Javier Del Río Alba, Archbishop of Arequipa, highlighted: “Concluding this meeting, surely they could also say: We are witnesses of this. “That it is precisely the encounter with the risen Jesus Christ that has led us to get involved in these solidarity works of the Sodalit Family.”

Voices of some participants

During the meeting, Celia Luque, director of the Saint John the Apostlel School in Arequipa, expressed her gratitude: “It is inspiring to see how God works in each person dedicated to helping those who need it most. This meeting strengthens my commitment to the training and well-being of the children, young people and families in my care.”

 

For her part, Ana Cristina Orrego, from the Government Committee of SEM Colombia and Costa Rica , highlighted: “I experienced a spiritual renewal by understanding the charisma of Solidarity in Action and our responsibility to work with those most in need.” This meeting shows us that we are part of the same community called by God to help the less fortunate together.”

Diana María, coordinator of the Juan Pablo II Solidarity Center of SEM Medellín (Colombia) shared with us: “Jesus and all this personal experience of the spiritual has to be in the first place, and we must understand that we are not like separate Islands that we are each working on.” on the one hand, but rather, understanding each other as a family.”

“We have greater insight to be able to work better with all those we serve, we see many possible synergy actions that we can carry out between organizations,” highlights Daniel Uribe, director of sustainability at the Solidarity Action Foundation of Ecuador.

While Michelle Oliveira, Project Coordinator of SOMAR Petrópolis (Brazil) expressed: “having contact with this intimate personal experience was a very significant moment for me, because it reminded me of the sense of the mission within SOMAR and all the work that We performed there in Petrópolis with the children.”

Finally, Verónica Gómez, coordinator of programs and projects at SEM Costa Rica , shared that it was very important to “see the trajectory of other sister organizations and discover the efforts they have made for years and how we can translate that to our beginnings.”

Strengthening our solidarity apostolate

The person who was in charge of directing this event was our brother Carlos Muñoz, General Assistant of the Sodalitium Apostolate. Regarding these days of work, he explained: “This meeting has been a space to renew our evangelizing commitment to those most in need, share various experiences of our solidarity work, provide guidance and training about the conduct of our works.”

On the other hand, he highlighted that “it was moving to perceive the action of God in so many beneficiaries, who shared with us their experiences of gratitude and how their lives have been enriched by participating in the various initiatives.”

“As a result of this meeting, we have agreed on joint lines of action to strengthen the solidarity work we carry out with a common vision. Each institution presented various projects and testimonies, generating awareness of the richness of our mission, as well as the need to support each other,” said Carlos.

They received a greeting from the Superior General of the Sodalicio

Our Superior General , José David Correa, sent a video greeting addressed to the participants of the Solidarity Meeting. In which he shared a reflection on the quote from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew (25, 40): “Truly I tell you, every time you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me,” highlighting that “the “Lord reminds us of that particular concern for the poorest brothers, the smallest, those who suffer the most and the most needy.”

In his words, he stressed that “the greatest charity we can have with these most needy brothers is the proclamation of the Gospel,” thus emphasizing the importance of being apostles and sharing the faith with those who need it most. In this sense, he highlighted the responsibility of all those present to help bring these brothers closer to the Lord Jesus and to provide them with “the blessings that come to us through the Church, the sacraments, and participation in the liturgical life of the Church.”

In addition, he emphasized the importance of serving in the community and highlighted “the blessing of being part of a spiritual family.” In a tone of brotherhood and communion, he encouraged everyone present to join in the effort to “help brothers who suffer better and better.”

Finally, he expressed his gratitude to all the participants for their presence and daily efforts, offering his prayers and asking the Lord that this meeting bear abundant fruit.