AMERICA/BRAZIL - Difficulty in the inculturation of the Gospel and lack of pastoral workers in the Amazon

Thursday, 11 October 2018 missionary animation   indigenous

São Gabriel da Cachoeira (Agenzia Fides) - "The liturgy of the Mass in the indigenous communities, is not always understood and appreciated", "due to shyness and shame people have difficulty participating", explains to Agenzia Fides Sister Zulmira Muniz, a Salesian religious born in Laurete, São Gabriel da Cachoeira district, right on the border between Brazil and Colombia.
Speaking of the difficulties in advancing the process of inculturation of the Gospel, she explains that in her opinion what hinders this process is "how to unite our reality, our indigenous spiritual life to Western spiritual life", especially in the practical dimension.
"Christian spirituality - the religious continues - has a more theoretical dimension, while indigenous spirituality is more experiential". For the indigenous peoples "theory is something more difficult than practice".
Introducing the aspects of people's daily lives in liturgical celebrations is a dynamic which is usually present in the indigenous communities of Alto Rio Negro, in the Brazilian Amazon. The Salesian brings as an example the ritual dances or the offer of daily food during the offertory, which "help to understand the theory from practice".
Nildo da Costa Melgueiro, a catechist for years in the community of Bom Jesus, also in the diocese of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in a community of indigenous barés located on the banks of the Rio Negro, tells Fides that "the lack of priests in the communities constitutes great difficulties, and people feel discouraged". "The Church of the Amazon needs many things. We cannot say that we are abandoned, but there are many things to be improved", the catechist underlines, so that "people can participate in the life of the Church". Therefore greater accompaniment is necessary, there is need for people to give their contribution to the communities, it is necessary "to encourage young people, to work with everyone, children, young people, adults ...". "Our diocese of São Gabriel da Cachoeira - she concludes - should encourage the presence of nuns who accompany young people, children, to form new catechists". (LMM) (Agenzia Fides, 11/10/2018)