Virtual Meeting of Sector of The Americas
All the missionary confreres and some special guests of the religious communities and other organizations met together for the annual meeting of the Sector America.
Those were three marvelous days when we were able to welcome the wisdom and the profoundness of the reflections of Dr. Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian theologian, He reminded us to take care of life, of nature with the application of an integral ecology and not only green. He also reflected about the pandemic of Covid 19, saying: «the virus is he consequence of a type of violent and aggressive relation that the human beings have had against nature during the last centuries, destroying their habitat and passing to humanity…
He also invited us to accept the heritage of Jesus: « All brothers in love, in solidarity that are values that can unite humanity. The risk is that humanity suffers a division between those who have everything and the sub-men who have even lost the quality of being human. The challenge is to maintain humanity so that each one may participate in the inheritance of Jesus. The mission has the same function of uniting the peoples and of making it a way that al eel as members of the People of God.»
On the second day, Dr. Sandra Arenes, a Chilean theologian, accompanied us with a critic of the letter of pope Francis Fratelli Tutti saying that it is a systematisation of other catechesis or speeches given in simple and direct language based on experiences, saying that he touches, among other points, to the absence of an inclusive language – women, the disconnected connection, the walls, to generate the culture of the encounter, human rights, the universal and the local.
On the third day, videos of the history of the mission in each country was shared. They aimed at greeting the pioneers who opened the way to the mission. Each country presented a tree containing in its roots the names of the pioneers and of all the missionaries who went to each country. In its trunk, it contained the strengths, the initiatives that sustain the mission. And in the branches the pastoral connections, the network of workers, the life of the communities that they accompanied. And then, we look at the great fruits that the mission produced. Finally, in the foliage, we could see the faces of the missionaries who passed through or are in the missions.
Father André Dionne helped us to reflect with the text John 17-5,8, accompanied with his shared story of the very profound and difficulties that the lived in the mission of Chile.
And then, Father Bertrand Roy shared with us an historical survey about our Society since its foundation until today. He underlined 2 moments, that were keys for me in his presentation: "Our Society has an history that is important to know and to value, not to copy the past, but that our living identity may draw creative new energies like a tree that grows thanks to its deep roots. (GA 2013 no. 16). And to help us to look towards the future: «The steps that must be taken (towards the future as a missionary Society) will be discovered and lived with all those who will be present with us in the name of the Gospel. Its future will be ours». (GA 2013, no. 37.)
We ended the meeting by a recreational-festive moment where some colleagues shared their talents like songs, poetry, dancing and even kitchen recipe. Everything was well animated by two young Peruvian ladies of the missionary community. WE closed the meeting with a toast proposed by the local Group of Brazil for the sectorial Meeting, for the fruits gathered, for the hundred years at the service of the Gospel...live the interculturality…like the Samaritans, since in the SME, we live, we attest and we celebrate!!!
Maria Beatriz Medina
An event that has gotten our attention during January 12 to 14 was that of the geographical meeting of the Americas with the participation of the members and associates of the Society in Peru, Honduras, Brazil and Canada. The objectives of that virtual meeting were to live the fraternity in times of pandemic and to celebrate the centennial of the SME at the service of the Gospel in our different local Groups.
On the first day, the theologian Leonardo Boff, from Brazil, helped us to deepen, starting with the encyclical Laudato Si’, the importance of ecology especially for the after pandemic. He insisted on the necessity of that our struggle for life on earth be not only a question of green ecology, but that it be an integral ecology including a social, political, economical, cultural, spiritual and ecclesial dimension.
On the second day, the Chilean theologian Sandra Arenas helped us to reflect on the content of Fratelli Tutti. Besides speaking to us on the insistence of pope Francis about the fraternity between people, she especially stressed that the pope gives a lot of emphasis on social friendship in spite the cultural, economical and political differences.
The last day of our meeting was animated by our confrere Bertrand Roy who was able to get our interest concerning the history of the SME starting with a new approach, not the one beginning with the chronology of the events that have marked our past, but beginning with the diverse generations that preceded us and that allowed us to progress and to better adapt ourselves to the new sociological realities in the world in which we have lived.
Edouard-René Morin, pmé
DYNAMIC OF THE TREE
With that meeting in our communities, we were invited to live the experience by looking at the history of the pioneers who opened the way to the mission by learning their names, the mission areas, by looking at faces and valorising their work.
To remember is to honor life. On the way towards the centennial, we want to recognize the strength and the value that each one of us has for our local Groups. It is to admire the courage and the bravery among so many challenges they have lived. They incorporated themselves in peoples, crossing rivers, climbing mountains, walking in the mud or throughout the valley. With the sunshine or the rain, being hungry or thirsty... some left their life in the missions, others retired earlier, were sick, shed their blood…All were brave, all have written the page of the history of the community sample.
Recognize, welcome and let flow the sap contained in each soil…of Canada, Honduras, Brazil and of Peru… And why not, that also of Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina and Chile… a fertile sap that so many of our colleagues have bequeathed to us as an in heritage.
Some of those pioneers are still among us as an important root that keeps on nourishing the community, who are testimony and devotedness. It is an opened book, it is a sacred fire that we appreciate and love.
Today we go on pushed forward by their strength, with audaciousness and dedication since there is still a long way to go !!!
For a few seconds, close your eyes and connect yourself with your heart. Recognize a missionary companion who has crossed your story for life…Someone who has accompanied you, advised you, listened to you, learned from you, was appreciated by you…and tell him…Thank you! Thank you Guy, Raymond, René, André…(look and recognize).
Let us now look at our history.
It is a maple tree because the Society is Canadian and because of those mysteries of life. A maple tree was growing in he jungle, in the sierra, in the pampa, in the mountains, in the ravine and it bore fruits…a variety of abundant fruits !!!
Maria Beatriz Medina
Missionnaire laïque associée