Brazil - Londrina 2018
Lula Ramirez is CCRI's link with Edwin who is attending the 14th Inter-Ecclesial Gathering of Base Christian Communities in the city of Londrina, Parana, Brazil. Lula will translate Edson's Spanish reports into English so we can enjoy the life and joy in the celebrations.
Please visit the official website
Theme of the Gathering: Base Christian Communities and Challenges in the Urban World
Londrina welcomes participants to the 14th Inter-Ecclesial meeting of CEBs with a celebration full of symbolic meanings
The Inter-Ecclesial meeting is a blend of faces, of people who come from around and from far away. They are welcome with the joy of a gathering that had been expected and prepared since long ago. The 14th Inter-Ecclesial meeting of the Base Cristian Communities in Brazil started with an Opening Celebration, full of symbolic meaning where the people of Londrina, land of migrants, received some 3,000 delegates from all over the country.
Pope Francis sent a message to the participants of the event. The letter was read out loud by the head of the Commission for the Lay People in the Brazilian National Conference of Bishops, where the pontiff expresses his “encouragement and blessings” to all participants. The letter says “God is never indifferent towards the suffering of the people” which urges Christians to “lead a personal life in which the light of the Gospel shines”, based on “love and solidarity”. The Pope continues to remind the CEBs to “hear de claims of the poor who hunger for God, for justice and bread” so that the communities may be – in society at large – an instrument of evangelization and promotion of each person.
Finally, the archbishop of Londrina, Geremias Steinmetz, mentioned the importance of defining a methodology to “approach both women and men, so distant and lost in the city, especially in the poor areas… the young people who personally suffer the most difficult problems of the city… the children… those who are the victims of diversity… punished simply because they are different.”
In keeping with the theme of Londrina Friar Betto (Dominican) spoke to the assembly and urged them to organize some kind of demonstration to show solidarity with former President Lula who is awaiting the judgement of the Court of Appeal. If the Court of Appeal upholds the sentence - nine and half years of imprisonment - Lula will not be able to run for president later on this year. This will please the leaders of the coup going on in Brazil at this time. Reelecting Lula as President is the only way to reverse all the setbacks we are facing concerning labor rights, access by multinational companies to natural resources, changes in the pension system which will make it almost impossible for the poor people to retire in their old age.
Pope Francis, informed of the XIV Inter-Church Meeting of the Ecclesial Base Communities, which will take place in the Archdiocese of Londrina from January 23 to 27, 2018, wishes to convey to the participants from all corners of Brazil his word of encouragement and blessing , which can help the CEBs to bring to the challenges of the urban world "a new zeal for evangelization and a capacity for dialogue with the world that renews the Church" (Evangelii Gaudium, 29).Indeed, as seen from the motto of the Encounter - "I saw and heard the cry of my people and came down to deliver him" (Ex 3: 7-8) - God is never indifferent to the suffering of his people, sending Moses , to save the Hebrew people from the slavery of Egypt and, in the fullness of time, sending their Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to deliver us from the slavery of sin and death.This redemptive action,which we celebrate with faith in the liturgy, must then manifest itself in a personal life where the light of the Gospel shines, that is, in an existence inspired by love and solidarity, which is the language of love.Thus, the Holy Father, united spiritually to this Assembly, invokes the abundant of his gifts and lights on all present, from the Most High, so that, listening to the cry of the poor and hungry for God, justice and bread, the Ecclesial Communities of Base can be an instrument of evangelization and promotion of the human person in Brazilian society and nation - always in communion with the parish reality and with the directives of the local Church (Ibid., 29) - capable of meeting the terrible effects of the culture of "discarding", which leads so many brothers and sisters to live excluded, in an exclusion that hurts "at its very root,the belonging to the society where one lives, because those who live in the favelas, in the periphery or without power are no longer in it, but outside.The excluded are not "exploited" but waste, leftovers "(ibid., 53).As a pledge of these vows and prayers, which in the spirit he places at the feet of Our Lady Aparecida, Pope Francis wholeheartedly grants the participants, extending to their families, the community of parishes and dioceses, a propitiatory Apostolic Blessing, Please do not stop praying for him.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State.
From the Vatican, January 4, 2018
23 January 2018
People young and not so young have been gathering all day It is 7:30 pm in Brazil and they are starting the Opening Celebration of the 14th Inter-ecclesial Encounter of Base Cristian Comunities in the city of Londrina, state of Paraná, Brazil.
Delegates are coming from all over the country
Pictures by Daniel Seidel, an official delegate from the Faith and Politics Movement (nationwide).