|Missionaries in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City during the "sending out" Mass at the start of missions.|
April 29, 2011. Each year, Holy Week is an opportunity
to renew our faith. For thousands of youth and families,
it is also an occasion to step out of the
routines of daily life to share that faith, and by
so doing, help it to grow.
This year, Holy Week missions
were organized in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Guatemala,
El Salvador, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela,
Colombia, Italy, France, and the Philippines.
By far, the largest gathering
of missionaries took place in Mexico, where close to 20,000
youth and families set out for remote towns and villages
during Holy Week. The international Malinalco mission, in particular, got
air time on Mexican television with the following spot.
The missionaries also made their own video (view here)
with scenes from the mission. After their week of service,
the missionaries returned to Mexico City for the conclusive Mass
on Easter Sunday at the Anáhuac University. This video
captures some of the energy and reverence at the Mass,
for which Fr Alvaro Corcuera was the main celebrant.
|ECYD boys in Colombia set out on horseback for the missions.|
the United States, missions took place in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver,
Detroit, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, New York City, Washington, DC,
and Jacksonville, Florida with over 750 missionaries participating. Most missions
combined a service element with door-to-door evangelization inviting people to
participate in the Holy Week liturgies at the parishes, plus
activities for the local children.
In Italy, Cardinal Velasio De
Paolis presided over the commissioning Mass at the parish of
Our Lady of Guadalupe at the start of missions. During
his homily, he invited to missionaries to proclaim Christ “particularly
in today’s world, where there are so many ephemeral and
fleeting events.” He said, “we are tired of so many
meaningless and superficial advertisements lacking in hope, of advertisements that
|Missionaries in Atlanta do the Stations of the Cross through the woods.|
are unable to go beyond the earthly level. We need
to proclaim love, fidelity, to proclaim the Son who revealed
himself in Christ Jesus.” The homily can be read at
in its original Italian, and the audio
version can be heard here
A letter from Fr
Alvaro Corcuera, published prior to the missions, set the tone
for this year, marking the priority in terms of one
of the spiritual acts of mercy: instructing the ignorant. Along
these lines, the missionaries were invited to reflect on the
importance of teaching the faith, not just with words but
also with their living example.
To learn more about Holy Week
missions and to view pictures and videos, visit the Mission
Youth web site at www.demisiones.org/usa/.