Sr. Juana Marìa de Montfort, Peru
Around seventy lay members from different Delegations, participated in this experience: Peru, Equator, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. We were welcomed by our Argentine brothers of Holy Cross Parish of Fiorito, Buenos Aires, Argentina. We were given accommodation, sharing their humble homes and communities. Fraternal warmth reigned among these Latino-Americans, united on the same journey, in the footsteps of Father de Montfort and Marie Louise Trichet.
The theme of this encounter was: “Being Missionary Brothers”, and it was lived under the name of the Virgin of Luján, the one who revealed herself to the humble slave Manuel who said, “I belong to the Virgin and I serve my brothers in need.” Let us express this devotion in our lives through the consecration to Jesus through Mary, the way that Montfort invites us to take.
Each day, conferences were given by priests and lay from different participating countries. The themes were: Montfortian Fraternity, Biblical Basis of Fraternity, Community and Commitment for Mission to the poor, Ecology and Montfortian Spirituality. All those themes were supported by expositions, celebrations and even small but significant missions nearby.
A great desire to get to know better Blessed Marie Louise of Jesus and her mission was expressed. Moreover, were also expressed desires to work for Montfortian vocations and for different vocations, to live Montfortian spirituality in our Entities and to face the challenges present in our current Latino-American society.
We constantly spoke about our cultural heritage by sharing our experiences with the others in joy, faith and hope. The words of Pope Francis encouraged us: “Be an outgoing Church to bring the Gospel at all times and all places with love and joy.”
I remained impressed by so many lay men and women committed to bring Wisdom to Latino-American peoples even in a violent context. I admired their audacity, their faith and their commitment towards the very poor, with also a great love for the Virgin Mary. They were also very eager to contribute their share so that new generations may come to be inspired by this great and rich spirituality.
Luján is mostly known for its great neo-gothic basilica, built in honor of the Virgin of Luján, Argentina’s Patron Saint. Each year, around 6 mission people make the pilgrimage to the basilica. The city is known as the faith capital of South America and one of its most visited places.