A Stay in Colombia
Father Miguel Ángel Avendaño Toledo, territorial director for Latin America, spent several months in Colombia. He began his stay in Bogotá by taking part in a seminar offered by CELAM on the Church’s social doctrine. This international event enabled him to delve deeper into the most recent developments in social doctrine, and to see the urgent need for all members of our Apostolic Family to become involved in the major social issues of the day, in order to be a genuine seed of the Gospel.
During his stay in Bogotá, Father Miguel Ángel was able to meet aspirants and consecrated candidates from the Pius X Secular Institute. God is faithful and generous, and continues to call. Our challenge is to accompany this call so that it bears the most beautiful fruits of holiness in the heart of the world.
Meeting up with the members of the Popayán region for several weeks enabled Father Miguel Ángel to get to know the reality of this region and the experience of the associate members of our Family. The daily contacts and the sharing of dreams and challenges, joys and sorrows that weave the day-to-day life of every person, allow us to measure the ardor and zeal for the mission that animate the life of the members. Their insertion into the realities of today’s world makes each of them true witnesses to the Gospel and missionary-disciples who propose the Good News with all their lives.
Father Miguel Ángel’s Colombian tour ended in the north of the country, in Cartagena, to meet Eduardo, a consecrated candidate. It was also an opportunity for the other male consecrated members living in Colombia to gather in Cartagena to solidify their bond of communion and closeness to one another despite the great distances that separate them.
A Visit to Guatemala and Costa Rica
In mid-June, it was Father Marcel Caron and Suzanne Guérard’s turn to fly to Guatemala. As well as meeting almost all members individually and getting to know new aspirants, the primary reason for the visit was to celebrate the commitment of four members in this region, Edwin, Steve, Ariel and Magda. These commitment celebrations renew the apostolic drive of each member, reminding us that we are given the mission to be a leaven of transformation in the midst of the world. Following the example of Jesus himself with his Father, our “yes” to Christ and his call becomes a real force for bringing fire to the earth. In the midst of social and ecclesial realities – often difficult and overwhelming – the members of the Pius X Secular Institute are called to become these witnesses of hope.
While Father Marcel was on his way home, Suzanne, who is in charge of consecrated women at the Pius X Secular Institute, was heading for Costa Rica. There, Lorca León Cayasso was waiting to introduce her to her workplace. A high school teacher, she lives some 6 hours from the capital, not far from the border with Panama. This gave Lorca and Suzanne the opportunity to travel to Panama to meet a consecrated candidate, Bredio, and share a few hours with him. Despite the precarious conditions in the village where Lorca lives, the “Pura vida” welcome of the Costa Rican people quickly won Suzanne’s heart.
Back in San José, the country’s capital, Lorca made her final commitment as a consecrated woman to the Pius X Secular Institute. Surrounded by family and friends, she committed herself to following Jesus Christ more closely. “I gave Him everything, with my talents, to live the apostolate among working-class people, the less well-off and the poor (…) In this joy of meeting each other, we talked together about the Institute and began to dream.” The photo at the start of this news article presents us this incredible woman. Thank you, Lorca, for your “yes”, which opens new doors to a new world!
Off to Brazil!
In early August, the Conference of Secular Institutes in Latin America (CISAL) held its congress under the theme “Mysticism and Prophecy in Secularity”. Father Miguel Ángel Avendaño, Marcos Paiva and Ricardo Ossami represented the Pius X Secular Institute at this landmark event for secular consecrated life in Latin America.
It was the first time that a leader of the Institute had travelled to Brazil to meet members and candidates of our Apostolic Family, having been prevented from doing so previously by the pandemic. The meeting was a great support and encouragement for the Family in Brazil.
Ricardo wrote after the meeting: “We felt our vocations were strengthened. We were able to get in touch with the human side of our Institute. (This) inspires us with the joy and happiness of responding to our divine call without ever leaving everyday reality, the privileged place where our vocation as consecrated lay people is born, takes shape and finds its purpose.”
My Parish is the World!
This summer has enabled us to see and touch with our own hands the international reality experienced by the Apostolic Family of the Pius X Secular Institute. We humbly accept this “grace” experienced by the Family as a true gift of the Father’s mercy. May our Pius X Secular Institute continue to grow, so that every man and woman may experience the Encounter that opens the door to peace and happiness!