Brazil - Mons. Antônio de Assis Ribeiro, SDB, "I believe the passion for Jesus ... is to meet those who need us most"

01 October 2019

(ANS - Belén) - The month of October, the "Extraordinary Missionary Month" that Pope Francis wanted, has begun. A month that commemorates the 100 years of the Apostolic Letter "Maximum Illud" by Benedict XV on the propagation of the Catholic faith throughout the world. A month in which the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region will take place from 6 to 27 October; its theme: "Amazons: New paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology". Among the Salesian participants there will also be Msgr. Antônio de Assis Ribeiro, SDB, auxiliary bishop of Belén do Pará. In an interview he tells us about his missionary vision and passion.

Monsignor Antônio, what energizes and gives movement to the evangelical passion to announce the Gospel?

We have great sources that energize our life and our pastoral work. We are undoubtedly moved by evangelical passion, because we have Jesus as our teacher and whom we must announce. Certainly the Social Doctrine of the Church and Human Rights gives movement to this work and as Salesians we have a charism that brings us closer to the poor, the needy and in a special way to young people.


Can we talk about evangelization and human promotion?

The Church cannot think of evangelization without human promotion. We cannot speak of love to God without speaking of love of neighbor. Therefore, human promotion is a fundamental element for the proclamation of the Gospel.

Can you tell us about your pastoral work?

The Archdiocese of Belén do Pará has about two million people. We have 90 parishes, five mission areas, and many great challenges. It is a population that grows in disorder. The Church must have enormous pastoral creativity to be with people and accompany the lives of people living in extreme poverty, violence, drug addiction, etc.

What is the situation of young people in the Amazon?

The youth situation in the Amazon is very complex and different. We work with young "natives" from different ethnic groups and each with a different culture. We have the young "rivereños" who live on the edge of the rivers and who suffer from urban problems. We have the young "negros" who live in the cities and the vast majority is poor. With each of these groups we have the challenge of human promotion, but the biggest challenge is to accompany them in the spiritual life and for them time and creativity are needed ... I believe that the passion for Jesus and the missionary's passion is to go to meet those who he needs us most.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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