On Sundays, my day starts at 5:00 am because masses are scheduled for 7:00 am in the Christian communities of the mission. Many faithful are far away from the celebration sites and to get there, one has to take dirt roads.
When we arrive, we find people already there; they have preceded us to prepare the spaces, set up chairs to welcome people. They got up early. The parish still has precarious structures where chairs and tables cannot be left inside. Few chapels have the tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament.
Often our churches, the place of celebration, are under trees, in the shade. After Sunday masses, we sit in a circle under the trees; in Christian communities, there are frequent meetings with laypeople to plan pastoral action; even catechesis meetings take place like this. Each group has its own tree, Christians in a circle, and a great desire to grow in faith. In recent years, there have been many discussions with laypeople about the best way to proceed so that Christians grow by adhering to Christ and joyfully sharing the charism of communion for the mission.
Our charism fascinates me after nearly 25 years of consecration in the Missionary Community. Many laypeople say they used to participate in Masses, but without having had the opportunity to receive training. Now, they understand what they are doing because they feel the missionaries closer to them.
They say we have the patience to explain things well to them, allowing them to grow in faith and to train other laypeople. I am happy to be able to offer these brothers and sisters tools to evangelize and be protagonists with me in the same mission: forming disciples in Christian communities.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”