AMERICA - Mission animation and online Christian formation are strengthened during the pandemic

Thursday, 23 July 2020 coronavirus   missionary animation   formation   pontifical mission societies   local churches  

Quito (Agenzia Fides) - The isolation and social distancing established by the authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, has pushed the Church to make greater use of social media to continue its evangelizing mission and promote the spiritual life of communities, parishes and diocese. Many initiatives that usually included meetings and assemblies are now organized remotely, with the use of digital platforms and social media.
In Chile, a cycle of four online conversations began yesterday on the theme "New horizons for the proclamation of the Gospel" which intends to enrich the horizon of missionary service based on the current pastoral situation and experience of Chile, with particular attention to the call that motivates it, to the spirituality that supports it and to the pedagogy that makes it possible. The broadcast in streaming can be followed live via Facebook Live.
As the statement of the Bishops’ Conference sent to Fides informs, "the context in which we live today raises questions for the missionary service that the Lord has entrusted to the Church. And even if we do not have many answers, it is worth starting a dialogue to indicate the emerging issues and to discern the new paths with others. In the face of the significant changes we have undergone, especially during this pandemic period, a variety of missionary areas and experiences have emerged, which must be shared".
The first meeting, held yesterday, had the theme "New missionary areas, integral ecology"; the second, on August 19, will have the theme "My missionary option"; on September 16 "Solidarity Missionary Service", while the last meeting, on October 14, will be dedicated to missionary Month and the Holy Father’s message, and will be held by Fr. Luis Alberto Nahuelanca, O.F.M., National Director of the PMS.
The Church in Brazil is also making extensive use of online tools to continue its pastoral work: the training of catechists, which always took place in the second half of the year, is also online now. The initiative started at the beginning of July, with video training, and today, July 23, the first online meeting promoted by the Coordination of the Catechesis of the Archdiocese of Florianopolis on the Google Meet platform will be held.
With a daily average of over 500 people at the same time, the Diocesan Week of Liturgy 2020 of the diocese of Santo André took place from 13 to 17 July, achieving great success, broadcast for the first time on social media. The five days of formation mobilized coordinators and members of the liturgy groups, pastoral workers and ecclesial movements, as well as lay people from the 106 parishes of all the pastoral regions. The event, in a virtual manner, made people from other cities and dioceses participate in the initiative.
In the South Brazilian region 4, the training course for the leaders of the Social Doctrine of the Church and Social Pastoral is taking place, with more than 2,000 members from all over Brazil. The training takes place live on the region's youtube channel.
On July 18 the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of Ecuador celebrated the Day of the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle (POSPA), to support the many vocations born in missionary contexts. As part of this celebration, the PMS of Ecuador organized various activities, including a live broadcast on Facebook to find out more about this Pontifical Society and a Competition on Tik Tok on the importance of native vocations. The winners were chosen based on the highest number of "likes" and were presented on the Ecuador PMS website. First place was the video of the diocese of Machala, second the video of the parish of Ángel de la Guarda of the Archdiocese of Guayaquil, and third the video of the archdiocese of Portoviejo. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 23/7/2020)