Santo Antônio da Patrulha (Agenzia Fides) - "The Congress was, without doubt, a moment of true awareness of the missionary journey of the Church in Brazil and in the world". This is what 235 diocesan and religious seminarians from 104 Brazilian dioceses, who met in Santo Antônio da Patrulha (state of Rio Grande do Sul), for the 3rd National Mission Congress of Seminarians, say in their letter of commitment. Promoted by the Pontifical Mission Societies and the COMISE National Commission (Conselho Missionário de Seminaristas), the Congress had the same theme as the Extraordinary Missionary Month, "Baptized and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world", and the motto "You will be my witnesses ... to the ends of the earth"(Acts 1.8). The general objective was to encourage and improve the missionary formation of future priests in Brazil, so that the mission is truly the central axis of formation and aid for seminarians to acquire an authentic missionary spirit.
In the final letter of commitment, sent to Agenzia Fides, gathering the experience of the Congress, which was "an excellent space to reflect on the missionary formation of future priests", the seminarians underline: "We were encouraged to be active agents in the process of pastoral conversion and to help the Church live the mission as 'a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people' (EG 268) during the whole process of formation, both initial and permanent".
Then they continue: "With the intention of reawakening the awareness of the Missio ad gentes and resuming the transformation of life, of formation and pastoral care, we feel that, more than ever, we must assume without fear the following of Christ in a preferential way. It is not possible to speak of vocation, excluding the mission".
Strengthened by the love for Jesus Christ, the foundation of the mission, seminarians recall the need “to promote synodality and to create missionary spaces in houses of formation and parishes; to reawaken missionary ardor through the awareness that continuous and permanent mission is an overflow of personal experience with Jesus. It is therefore necessary to review with courage habits, styles, schedules, language, listening, dialogue, structures, the paths of human, theological and spiritual formation, as well as the practice of solidarity, cooperation and integration".
"Together we reaffirm our desire - they conclude -, animated and guided by the Spirit of God, to build in the heart of Seminaries, Houses of Formation, Institutes, Universities and Parishes, a living and ardent mentality, addressed to a Church on a permanent mission, with the merciful face of the Father, an irreplaceable sign of the missionary Church". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 16/7/2019)