Regnum Christi members in Puente Alto, a suburb of Santiago, Chile, went out to the streets to talk to others about the Holy Spirit just before Pentecost.
During Holy Week, several missionaries formed a bond with the community of the parish of the Nativity of the Lord. Afterwards, the idea of “Urban Missions” was born. So on May 19, Regnum Christi members went out into the neighborhood of Ciudad del Este in Puente Alto. Their goal was to listen, converse, evangelize and stoke the fire of the Holy Spirit in the people of the area with a view to the celebration of Pentecost the day after.
The main group of missionaries came from the section of Las Condes (a richer suburb). With a Consecrated Woman, they visited houses in the neighborhood of Ciudad del Este to give continuity in with the Holy Week missions.
In these so-called, “Urban Missions,” the missionaries worked together with the parish priest, Fr. Gonzalo Guzmán. They conveyed the hope that the fire of the celebration of Pentecost burns, purifies and enlivens the faith in people and helps them reach the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Rosario Miranda, a Consecrated Woman, said, “The fruit of these missions was sharing a moment where we accompanied a community of parishioners who see a Catholicism that feels ashamed, hurt and with a great weight. We went with the parish priest, Fr. Gonzalo Guzmán, to ask their forgiveness on behalf of the Catholic Church because we are also part of it. In our meetings we proposed in turn that we unite, show our faces and work together to renew our faith in God and our love for Christ. “
Rosario Icaza from the Las Condes section, explained, “After the Holy Week missions in Puente Alto we were fascinated by the experience. That is why we offered Father Gonzalo to come back once a month to help him visit families from house to house. We chose the dates thinking about the liturgical celebrations and the first one was Pentecost. We had to go the previous Saturday and so take advantage of inviting people to Sunday Masses. For all that has happened lately in the Church, I thought it was not the most appropriate day, but we had committed ourselves to the priest and we weren’t going to let down the Lord. We were quite scared with what we were going to find there, but after a meeting with the priest, we were a little calmer. I have no words to describe the love with which they welcomed us, they made us go home and, although they spoke with the father about the latest Catholic Church issues that came out in the news, they did it with great respect and without judging or attacking anyone. Others received us suspiciously, but when they saw who we were and where we came from, they changed their attitude. I think that today there is a lot of loneliness in people and every day we are more locked in ourselves, there is distrust and insecurity but there is something that unites us that is stronger: speaking of God makes us change our attitude. This has made me reflect on the mission that we have as lay Catholics especially in the difficult moments that our church is living. We must leave our comfort and bring the simple word of God to our brothers. There is no need to know much or be a scholar only to feel that God loves them and that we go on his behalf to visit them. The change of life of many people depends on us and the truth is that you receive much more than you give in instances like these.”
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