“Go, from the Local Church to the ends of the world“:
this was the theme and anthem that inspired the 11 pre-congresses held in various sectors of our Archdiocese of Manaus on Sunday, 22nd October, the World Mission Day. Overall, these events successfully brought together approximately 2,000 people. This moment of missionary animation is not just an ordinary event but also a further step in the preparation process for the 5th National Missionary Congress, scheduled from November 10 to 15 at Studio 5 in Manaus.
The pre-congresses are part of a journey that began in 2022 with the initial online meetings to coordinate the event promoted by the Pontifical Missionary Works. During these organizational meetings, the decision was made to establish a coordination team in Manaus to collaborate with the central team working in Brasilia on organizing the 5th National Missionary Congress. This call for collaboration initiated the process that not only involved coordinating a national event but also engaging the entire Archdiocese to walk together.
We invited the leaders of the sector to assist us in organization and logistics, and the proposal was met with great willingness. Thus, we began to walk together, but this was not enough; something more was needed. We felt called by the Spirit to animate the entire Archdiocese in the missionary dimension. This would provide the communities of Manaus with the opportunity to delve into the contents of the National Missionary Congress. While not everyone can attend the National Missionary Congress, everyone will have the opportunity to deepen its contents.
Therefore, we proposed to organize pre-congresses at the sector level, and the response was positive. Moreover, we ensured that the conclusion of the pre-congresses coincided with an archdiocesan missionary march and the celebration of World Mission Day. It was a process built step by step, idea by idea, the result of sharing and exchanging opinions that make us a synodal Church, seeking to listen to each other and walk together.
Through the meetings to prepare for the missionary congress and the collaboration of sector teams, we were able to materialize this proposal. Each sector chose venues for the event, sought its formators, so that, the participants could delve into the proposed topics: missionary spirituality, missionary formation, missionary animation.
To feel united and have clear common goals, we proposed two meetings with the chosen formators. The pre-congresses took place in the sectors, but we all had the same direction and a common goal: to deepen the basic text of the Congress and animate the participants. Like a body with many members, we tried to coordinate ourselves to walk together in a process of participation and mission.
The journey continued in small steps; enthusiasm grew, and it was noticed in all the extended diocesan council meetings. The joy and commitment of the leaders were reflected in the dissemination texts produced by the young people and sector coordination teams. The creativity of each group was evident in the colours of the mission and the artworks produced.
It was a process that involved many people from different pastoral groups and movements. Each contributed, offering their gifts. Each pre-congress was like a mosaic of voices and colours that managed to reflect the beauty and enthusiasm of the mission. Hearts burned in encounters with the Word and the Eucharist, and feet traversed the streets of Manaus, expressing the desire to be a Church going out to reach the ends of the world!
Sr. Rosanna Marchetti, Manaus, Province North Brazil