Province of Colombia-Venezuela Unite in Mission: Provincial Assembly Explores the Significance of the Word

Jun 26, 2023 | Colombia - Venezuela

Medellín, Colombia. The province of Colombia-Venezuela recently witnessed a significant gathering of Claretian Missionaries, along with lay people, particularly laywomen, from various regions and zones from 19 – 23 June 2023. The purpose of this IV assembly was to delve into a complex yet crucial question: the Presence of the Word and its meaning in life, as well as its significance in the missionary work. 

The first day started with Solemn Enthronement of the Bible with essential symbols such as the Gospel Book, light, water, and mirror were placed at the center of the hall, representing the Word’s prominence and a discussion on the importance and essence of the Word. Fr. Juan Bautista Florez, CMF introduced the attendees to the Latin American literary figure, Juan Tablada and highlighted the issue of wordiness and its detrimental impact on communication. He also talked about the simplicity of Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti’s work that served as a model for embracing the immensity of the Word and giving meaning to the missionary mission.

On the second day, the Assembly focused on the reality of the regions of Colombia-Venezuela, through insightful presentations by Frs. Agustín Monroy and Alirio Osorio, CMFF. The attendees were encouraged to engage in dialogue, research, reading, and information sharing rather than becoming polarized.

Fr. José Fernando Tobón, CMF helped them to explore the ecclesial reality by providing an online media exercise that highlighted the current challenges and potential solutions for the Church. The assembly delved into the Synod of Synodality and the recently delivered Instrumentum laboris, creating a vivid image of a synodal Church. Additional contributions included a presentation on Pope Francis’ letter Sublímitas et miseria hominis and reports from various pastoral initiatives.

The morning session of the third day involved the discussions in pairs and zone-based conversations, while the afternoon focused on provincial life, community dynamics, and mission-related commitments and; on the fourth day the participants gained insights into different houses and their missions, fostering a deeper understanding and connection to the transformative processes within the province. Attention was given to the provincial reality, personal and communal responsibility in the mission, and challenges related to youth and vocation work.

On that same day the evening prayer was led by laymen and laywomen, acknowledging their significant contributions to the Assembly. The day concluded with a barbecue, music, and an atmosphere of fraternity and sharing.

The Assembly concluded with a symbolic representation of fruits, commitments, and tasks, echoing Acts 1:12-14 and the iconic image of Pentecost and the presence of Mother Mary guiding the Province.

As the Assembly came to an end, the participants returned to their respective communities, carrying the symbol of seeds. They intend to sow. 

Source: Fr. Libardo Restrepo, CMF, Secretary of Colombia-Venezuela Province.

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