Lima, Peru. Almost 60 participants in the IV Assembly of SOMI MICLA (Solidarity and Mission) came from all over the Americas and returned home very happy with what they had discussed, discerned, and celebrated.
The seven intense workdays always found their culminating point in the Eucharist. The martyrs of the continent and the sadly abundant victims of so many expressions of evil (violence, mistreatment and femicide, disappearances, savage extractivism, torture, labor exploitation, abuse of minors and people in vulnerable situations…) were remembered.
The commitment of the martyrs of the continent and the generosity of so many good people and members of the Claretian Family illuminated the listening to the Word and the discernment of the assembly members.
The presence of the General Prefect of Apostolate and the Coordinator of the Claretian Team to the United Nations expressed the affection and closeness of the rest of the Congregation, well visible also in the presence of many missionaries born in Asia and Europe destined in American communities.
The gathering was attended by young voices, educators, missionaries in training, a dozen procurators and prefects of apostolate, and representatives from various organizations including the Lay Claretians, Claretian Missionary Sisters, Missionaries of St. Anthony Mary Claret, and the Institute of Consecrated Life for America. In addition, messages were sent to the Assembly by the CMF and RMI General Superiors, SOMI coordinators from other continents, and several Provincials from America. Fr. Marcos A. Loro, President of MICLA, was also in attendance at the meeting.
The Assembly that ran from August 27 to September 3, 2023, deepened in several key texts of the Social Doctrine of the Church, especially in Laudato Si and Fratelli Tutti, and in the missionary and solidarity sensibility of St. Anthony Mary Claret and renewed the commitment of the Claretians of America with the migrants, the native peoples, the care of the Common Home (with particular attention to extractivism) and human rights always contemplated with awareness of the profound injustice that punishes and invalidates millions of women.
The Assembly, expressed in a final message, made visible the significant commitment of so many people (laity, religious, missionaries) in many different fields: care for children and youth, promotion of integral health, training of leaders and guardians of Creation, creation of awareness, processes of peace and reconciliation, pastoral care of the deaf and people with other special needs, various services to migrants and refugees, university commitment…
God willing, the V Continental Assembly of SOMI MICLA will be held in 2026. Until then, Paola Pastor, a Bolivian laywoman, will coordinate the continental team, succeeding Emilia Sena, a laywoman from Uruguay. Among the nine members of the Team (formed by a referent from each Organism), there are three laywomen and three Missionary Brothers, accompanied by two Claretian priests and one layman. Of the nine members of the Team, six have already carried out this service in the difficult period 2020-2023.
The participants unanimously thanked the generous and qualified care with which the Claretian family of Peru-Bolivia had prepared the encounter.