Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi members in Guatemala got together to share an extraordinary online Holy Week.
Children, youth and families said yes to God’s dream from their homes and evangelized through social networks and the Internet. The “Extraordinary Missionary” program was a response to the suspension of the annual face-to-face Holy Week Missions due to COVID-19, and consisted of a virtual program for missionaries that would provide them with daily resources during Holy Week.
The program “Missionary Family” had 76 missionaries participate, who were united daily in morning prayers, the Holy Mass online, the recitation of the Holy Rosary and evening prayers, among other activities, through social networks. During the mornings, they made the extraordinary version of home visits, through phone calls, and contact through social media, carrying a message of hope, encouragement and love to friends and family leading up to Easter.
In the “Mission Youth” program, 55 young people became extraordinary missionaries in order to find the means to fulfill the task, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). All of them, in addition to carrying out daily team activities, also participated in the online celebration of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, and virtual Eucharistic adoration all night. On Good Friday they joined in praying the Way of the Cross together with Pope Francis and did a veneration of the Cross. On Holy Saturday they participated in the online Easter Vigil, and on Easter Sunday they joined together with the entire community of the territory of Mexico and Central America for the closing Mass officiated by Fr. John Connor, LC, General Director of the Legionaries of Christ.
All the activities were broadcast on Instagram and Facebook Live, with the support of the Legionaries of Christ, Fr. Óscar Cabello, and Fr. Dennis Doren, who broadcast all the daily masses, rosaries and meditations. Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, Liliana Gutierrez and Lizzetta Escalante, also supported the meditations, rosaries and retreats within the week.
The young people adopted the mission modality of “virtual visits,” in which calls were made to different people suggested by the missionaries themselves, with whom they considered it appropriate to share a moment of evangelical reflection and accompaniment. These calls were made through WhatsApp and Zoom.
As part of the activities of the nights, different talks were given by Instagram live from the account of Youth Missionary Guatemala and by Zoom, among which were:
- Jesus trusts you, presented by Edgar and Paola Tortola.
- Love during COVID-19, presented by Fr Óscar Cabello, LC, and organized by RC Disciples Guatemala.
- How can I live the Sacred Triduum in a better way? Presented by Br Patricio Rodríguez, LC.
- The 7 words of Jesus in light of the Scripture, taught by Fr. Roberto Villatoro, LC.
Color Missions are usually designed for teenage girls. In Guatemala during Holy Week it is usually a kind of camp mixing missionary service and formation. This year the extraordinary missions camp was the home of each of the participants.
32 missionaries from 12 to 16 years old and four young people responsible for ECYD and Color Mission participated, who made a virtual visit to a total of 19 families and single people in the mornings, had formative activities and spiritual growth in the afternoons, daily prayers and meditations in the morning and at night, participation in the virtual Mass at noon, the recitation of the Holy Rosary in the afternoon, the prayer of the Way of the Cross, and the accompaniment of the Virgin of Sorrows. They also participated in the Easter Triduum and in a retreat which was spiritually directed by Liliana Gutiérrez and her community of Consecrated Women.
The teen team leaders, prior to the extraordinary missions, met virtually, to adapt the activities already planned and to prepare the necessary materials since every day, after dinner, they carried out integration and training activities.
On this occasion, when the girls could not leave their homes, to participate in the color missions, it was possible to invite the girls from the first and second stages of ECYD so that they could have their first experience in missions.
The original story in Spanish can be read on SomosRC, the Regnum Christi site for Mexico and Central America.