Br Gabriel, OMI, Br João Ferreira, OMI
The Provincial Assembly and the annual retreat of the province of Brazil took place Castanhal in the state of Pará, from July 23rd to 30th, 2019. It was a time of study and reflection on the most pressing issues of our society and the Church.
First, we dealt with the theme of sexual abuse of children, adolescents and vulnerable adults. Fr. Serge Traore Moussa, a Missionary of Mercy, conducted this session. Being a current and complex issue, he highlighted the need to stress more on missionary and human dimensions in our community life, rooted in the person of Christ. Thus avoiding causing any act that may leave wounds and pains in people’s lives.
Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, which will be held in Rome from 6 to 27 October, was the second theme we worked on. To conduct this session, we had the presence of Fr. Ricardo Castro, director of ITEPES (Instituto de Teologia Pastoral e Ensino Superior da Amazônia – Institute of Pastoral Theology and Higher Education of the Amazon). He presented the structure and purpose of the Pan-Amazon Synod. His explanation made us more sensitive to the situation in Amazon, and it led us to be in communion with Pope Francis and the participants of this upcoming historical synod.
At the end of the Assembly, we participated in our annual retreat. It was preached by Fr. Paolo ARCHIATI, the Vicar General of our Congregation. During the retreat, he guided us to spend time in intimacy with Christ and helped us meditate on how to “fall in love with God and love others with God’s heart”.
We thank the northern district, Fr. Francisco de ASSIS, and the other brothers of this unit, for their warm welcome and the excellent organization of the Provincial Assembly and Retreat. We pray to our holy founder St. Eugene de Mazenod to continue interceding for our missionary family.