Calls to a constant renewal

on 25 Aug, 2022
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Girardot (Colombia), 08/25/2022, Sr. Olga María Botia Sánchez, JPIC Delegate Santafé Province.- To bring to life the exhortations that the Social Doctrine of the Church and the documents of the Congregation propose is a permanent call to discernment and personal and community demands, to allow new experiences to be born that respond to the Cry of the earth and the Cry of the poor.

“To carry out processes of integral transformation of vulnerable groups" 55th GC

In the Justice and Peace Project of the Province of Santa Fe de Bogotá 2020-2024, it is proposed as a strategy that "according to the reality and possibilities of the local communities, organizations should be known that work with groups of migrants, displaced persons, women, street children and other situations of vulnerable people or groups whose dignity as sons and daughters of God is not recognized".

Radio program "Terra Nostra" Radio Station La Zona Radio. Girardot Cundinamarca. Olga María Botia S. Guests: Sister Diana Gisela Dolorita, Mrs. Gladis Moreno and Oscar Gómez.Radio program "Terra Nostra" Radio Station La Zona Radio. Girardot Cundinamarca. Olga María Botia S. Guests: Sister Diana Gisela Dolorita, Mrs. Gladis Moreno and Oscar Gómez.

In this article, I share the experience that we began in March 2021, from the community of the school of the Presentation of Girardot, supported by the Plan of evangelizing work in the Diocese of Girardot, Cundinamarca, Colombia. In the context of Synodality, encouraged by the JPIC plan of the Congregation. We proposed to the Bishop the formation of the Commission of Ecological Pastoral Care of the Diocese, which aims to articulate, promote and encourage initiatives that represent concrete actions for the implementation of the spirituality of the Encyclicals Laudato Si and Fratelli Tutti, which make our communities, parishes and contexts, spaces of Integral Ecology and of encounter with the most vulnerable.

Awareness-raising visit to educational institutions in Girardot. Laudato Si Week. Members of the ecological pastoral commission.Awareness-raising visit to educational institutions in Girardot. Laudato Si Week. Members of the ecological pastoral commission.

The Commission was formed and has been consolidating with the participation of priests, university professors who have programmes on environmental issues in the city, lay professionals, former students, some members of the municipal administration and pastoral agents, motivated by our visits to vicarage meetings, parish pastoral groups and educational institutions.

The perseverance and systematization of monthly meetings of the coordinating team, training, a radio programme, ecological activities, solidarity aid campaigns and meetings with vulnerable groups (street dwellers, recyclers and the elderly), have been a space for evangelization and strategies that allow us to capture the interest of people from different sectors, who have been motivated to learn about the Encyclical Laudato Si and want to join in this mission for the benefit of the care of the common home and concern for vulnerable people.

TRAINING

The formation and training courses for JPIC promoters, Laudato Si Animators, that from the JPIC- Roma, UISG and the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, together with the initiatives that we share as a Congregation, are scenarios that give us tools and motivate the coordination of the monthly meetings, so that in this reality where we have been sent, we continue to spread the seeds of the Kingdom and with "audacity and creativity" we witness the "Service of Charity" in the Church, inherited from Marie Poussepin.

"From the beginning, Marie Poussepin put her work at the service of the Church. She wants it to be perpetuated and extended, "so that the Sisters may bring wherever they are called, the knowledge of Jesus Christ and his Mysteries".

"The media at the service of Evangelization".

Taking into account that the Diocese of Girardot is made up of 69 parishes located in urban and rural areas, we have made an alliance with the Radio Station "La Zona Radio" and the Network of Community Radio Stations of the Diocese. Every week we broadcast live an ecological programme called "TERRA NOSTRA", through which we pray for the intentions of the communities and encourage the deepening of the documents of the Social Doctrine of the Church. The programme is carried out with special guests, who share their experiences and knowledge. The themes of the ecological calendar and the objectives of the Encyclical Laudato Si are a source of inspiration to structure the reflection and the music of each audition. In addition, it is a space to get to know, publicize and promote the ecological events that the institutions have planned. In the long term, we plan to have ecological correspondent leaders from the different sectors and parishes of the Diocese.

"The evolution of the world demands of us a continual renewal. Formation, in the line of our identity, is a life-long endeavor. It fosters personal wholeness and enables us to adapt wisely to ever-changing situations”. C1.

EDUCATIONAL AND SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGNS

"The care of the planet challenges us to review our commitment to the care of our common home and to generate campaigns of sensitivity... "LS

Inspired by the words of Jesus in the Gospel "Give them something to eat" and the precariousness of life and hunger that so many people live, some of them because of the Covid 19 pandemic, we joined the pilot project of a Foundation led by a former student who, like Marie Poussepin, learned from her mother about philanthropy and helping those most in need. "For more than a year, she has financed, with her own resources and the help of friends, the preparation of 60 lunches for street dwellers, vulnerable elderly people and recyclers of disposable products. With the help of volunteers, lunches were initially delivered from Monday to Friday, but due to a shortage of resources, delivery has been limited to two days a week.

We are seeking resources to be able to continue with this initiative which in concrete terms "calls us to discover Christ in the poor, to lend them our voice in their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to interpret them and to gather the mysterious wisdom that God wants to communicate to us through them" (EG198).

In caring for our common home, we have discovered as great allies the "waste pickers" in formal waste management activities. We have initiated contact with this vulnerable group, through gestures of solidarity and fraternal sharing, on significant dates; a strategy that we are perfecting in alliance with some recycling collection centres in the city and soon we will coordinate accompaniment with some of the parishes to which the recycling centres belong. We intend to have personal listening spaces to get to know the reality of the "waste pickers" and to establish with the authorities solutions to improve their personal and family quality of life. "The Spirit asks us to open ourselves to the newness of new ministries, where we make possible a more human world, where we accompany wounded humanity that continues to seek God's footprints closely, where we open our doors to new fraternal relationships of collaborative organized work, in alliances in which, we discover the values that each one has and break the barriers of indifference" (Vinculum Magazine n° 135).

Sisters with Pope Francis: "We acknowledge, encourage and thank all those who, in the most varied sectors of human activity, are working to ensure the protection of the home we share... A special thanks to those who struggle with vigour to resolve the dramatic consequences of environmental degradation in the lives of the world's poorest". LS 13

Sources:
Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013).
Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato Si (24 May 2015).
Francis, Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti (3 October 2020).
Constitutions of Dominicans Sisters of the Presentation of the Holy Virgin.
55th General Chapter 2019.
JPIC Project. Province of Santafé. 2020-2024.
Towards a synodal religious life. Vinculum Magazine /280 July - September 2022.
 
Photos:
Archivo personal hna. Olga María Botia S.