Brazil – Missionaries meet to renew "Directory for Missions" of Campo Grande Salesians

13 September 2022

(ANS - Campo Grande) - Coordinated by Fr. Ricardo Carlos, Provincial Superior of the "St. Alphonsus Maria de' Liguori" Province of Brazil-Campo Grande, and Sr. Terezinha Ambrosim, Superior of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the "Mother Mazzarello" Province, a meeting of missionaries active in work with indigenous peoples was held from Sept. 1 to 3. It was attended by religious active in the houses of Xavantina, São Marcos, Meruri, and Sangradouro, along with some missionaries from the Indigenist Missionary Council (CIMI).

The meeting’s objective was to update the Missionary Directory, which is part of the history of the Missionary Province of Mato Grosso (BCG Province). The document was drafted as it was felt to be a necessity by missionaries working with the native Bororo and Xavante peoples. "The missionaries, in the persons of Fr. Rudolf Lunkenbein, Fr. Gonzalo Ochoa, Sr. Ada Gambarotto, and many other Salesians, enlightened by the Second Vatican Council and the Special General Chapter of 1973, guided the development of all the work so that this document could be drafted, a work that continued until 1975 and was finally approved in 1976, under the name of Directory," explained Fr. Andelson de Oliveira, Provincial Delegate for Missions.

The history of the "Directory for Missions" continued with another update in 1986, when it was drafted in collaboration with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the then "Mary Immaculate Help of Christians" Province. There was a further update in 1994, and the last one in 2008. On this occasion, the document was called "Directory for the Missionary Activity of the Salesian Mission of Mato Grosso, of the Province of Our Lady of Peace and the Missionaries of Mother Laura" (the Laurites). In this edition, criteria for the accompaniment of indigenous vocations appeared for the first time.

"Then our Directory was summarized in the Directory of the Salesian Province SDB in 2016 and also in this last Provincial Chapter. However, at the last meeting last May, the missionaries saw the need to update the Directory, starting with the Pan-Amazonian Synod and many other documents, such as the encyclicals Fratelli Tutti and Evangelii Gaudium, and others," continued Fr. de Oliveira.

On this occasion, a special team, coordinated by Fr. Tiago Figueiró, with the participation of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, an indigenous Xavante, and an indigenous Boe-Bororo, was created to prepare the document. "The grand objectives of this meeting are: to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of CIMI, which has seen an important participation of Salesians since its creation, and also, in a special way, to read, study, and approve this new Directory for our missionary activities," the Provincial Delegate for Missions added further.

According to Fr. de Oliveira, the new document will be titled, "Together in Mission as a Christian Missionary Community Boe-Bororo and A'uwe uptabi - Guidelines for Animating and Accompanying the Evangelizing Journey of Missionary Educators with the Charism of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello." "It will serve as a compass, for us who are here and for those who will come after us, because many missionaries arrive on the mission field and ask themselves: what do we do, where do we start?" commented one of the Salesian missionaries present.

"Every meeting of missionaries is a burning bush, an opportune moment of meeting with God, with brothers and sisters, of listening to reality and going out, reaching out, of evaluation, rethinking and new directions in missionary animation. So, it is also a time to thank God for accompanying us here," he said, to conclude.

Euclides Fernandes Brites,

SC Delegate of Brazil-Campo Grande


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