Floresta (Agenzia Fides) - "We want to show the face of a Church that wants to be missionary. This is why the missions have contributed greatly in our diocese. You too are taking on the missionary nature of the Church", said the Bishop of the diocese of Floresta, Mgr. Gabriel Marchesi, to the participants in the first missionary experience promoted by the North-Eastern Region 2 of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), through the Regional Missionary Council (Comire).
From 9 to 26 January, 85 seminarians, 3 sisters, a lay person, 4 priests and 2 bishops are involved in the missionary activities of the diocese located in the semi-arid region of Pernambuco. Friday 10 and Saturday 11 January were dedicated to the formation on the social and pastoral reality of the diocese of Floresta. According to the note sent to Fides, the coordinator of Comire NE2, Father Edvaldo Alexandre Brito, explained the objectives of the missionary experience, including: contributing to the relationship between pastoral work and academic life; awakening and strengthening the missionary spirituality of following Jesus Christ; engaging in missionary cooperation activities, motivating cooperation beyond the frontiers and encourage learning with people by discovering and accepting the signs of God in their lives.
Professor Libanio Francisco da Paixão Neto, who resides in Floresta, spoke about the main characteristics of the semi-arid region of Pernambuco, highlighting the historical, social, political, economic and religious aspects, and the measures that have been taken in order to improve the life of people. After studying the local reality, Father Gerson Bastos, of the diocese of Floresta, illustrated the diocesan pastoral ministry.
The Bishop of Floresta stressed "it is difficult to see the face of Jesus the servant". This is how "we are called to live the experience of the Eucharist as communion with God and among people". On Sunday 12 January, at the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the participants received the missionary cross and were sent to the parishes of Petrolândia (locality with 27 rural villages), Itacuruba, Carnaubeira da Penha (indigenous area) and the islands on the São Francisco river, in the parish of Belém do São Francisco. They will stay there until 25 January, then return to Floresta for an evaluation of the experience. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 15/1/2020)