Bogotá (Colombia). The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Province of Our Lady of the Snows of Bogotá (CBN), in response to the call to proclaim the Kingdom of God, challenged by the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic, and animated by the commitment to “be an outgoing Province”, with which they are preparing to live their 50th anniversary, organized a mission during Holy Week for the people in the villages on the peripheries where there is a Salesian presence, to bear witness to hope.
The verse “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15) accompanied the group made up of ten FMA, a postulant from the CBN Province, and five novices from the CBN, ECU, VEN, and PER Provinces of St. Joseph International Novitiate of La Ceja in the Province of St. Mary Mazzarello (CMM) who at this time are living the month of formative, community, and apostolic experience; of the parish priests of the villages, three seminarians, the Director of the Salesian College of Neiva, and three young people.
21 villages and towns were visited near the House of Our Lady of Hope in Uribe (Meta) and Mary Help of Christians School in Neiva (Huila), two areas south and east of Bogotá. Although they have not been directly affected by the pandemic because they are far from the city, these rural locations are experiencing situations of hardship, poverty, and violence that weaken hope.
In the liturgical season of Holy Week and Easter, motivated by the Rector Major’s message of Strenna 2021 “Moved by hope”, they undertook the mission, bringing comfort and hope to the local populations to whom access and the pastoral action of the Church does not always reach.
The participants in the mission lived an intense week, challenged by the incarnate Gospel, through visits to families, sharing daily life with people, catechesis in Sacramental preparation for children and adults, Oratory activities, praying the Holy Rosary, and insights into the life of Jesus and the Paschal Mystery.
Accompanying these realities nourishes gratitude for the charismatic roots and missionary heritage lived with audacity and generosity in the CBN Province, accepting the challenge of letting oneself be touched by Love and being the mediation of the Risen Christ for those who are most in need.