The Independent Delegation of Antilles is a geographic and pastoral region that includes Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, each with very different political, social, economic, cultural, and ecclesiastical realities. This year, the Claretian presence in the Dominican Republic celebrated 100 years, and many activities were carried out, culminating in a grand closing on March 5, 2023.
As Servants of the Word, the Claretians are recognized in the region for their great availability, capacity for work, and spirit of service in this field. The hunger for the Word of God, for formation, and for accompanying the people in the midst of realities of marginalization, poverty, neglect, and abandonment by political authorities is notable.
The main lines of action/mission of the Delegation are: 1) the creation of spaces of welcome for young people, which promote the encounter with Jesus in their lives, in the Eucharist, and in the service to the poor, as well as the discovery of their vocation; 2) closeness and commitment to the peripheries of our positions; 3) strengthening the formative, celebratory, and pastoral dimensions of communal experiences around the Word; 4) the option for a more missionary, synodal, and shared mission Church; 5) commitment to the peripheries, from a missionary project; 6) the creation of a plan that encourages and enlightens all apostolic realities, from contextualized Word; 7) the training and animation of agents with whom the mission is shared.
The last General Chapter has helped in the life of the Delegation, the dreams of the chapter have been integrated into each activity, meeting, encounter, assembly, retreat, or formation.
There are several challenges that Fr. Fausto Cruzo Rosa, Superior Major of the Delegation, identifies for the next six years: “At the community level, respect and trust between brothers, as well as the choice of Local Superiors to be a point of balance in the community, in addition to transparency in the administration of goods. Another challenge is the interculturality of the person who arrives in a place as well as that of the person who welcomes them. Creating a comprehensive support structure to make known the historical and ecclesial realities in our places of mission, paying special attention to language learning in initial formation.”
He also shares the challenges that the mission implies: “Synodality is indeed a challenge that will help us face the new challenges we face. For this, fraternal encounters from different areas are the way to go. It is also a challenge to give continuity to community and missionary commitments and projects. It will only be possible by redefining our missionary presence creatively. We also want to focus particularly on accompanying, giving words and gestures of life to the most lacerated realities of our context. Finally, a great challenge is the formation of the laity, young people, and pastoral agents, and their vocational accompaniment.”
The Delegation of Antilles dreams together with the Congregation of being rooted in Jesus Christ, being contemplative, and dedicated to the service of God in the Church. They especially dream of reaching out to young people, bearing witness to a Claretian lifestyle, and going to the peripheries, to the poorest, with the Word of God at the center.