A Family on Mission

“Today, as never before, the Church has the opportunity of bringing the Gospel, by witness and word, to all people and nations. I see the dawning of a new missionary age, which will become a radiant day bearing an abundant harvest, if all Christians, and missionaries and young churches in particular, respond with generosity and holiness to the calls and challenges of our time.” These words were written 30 years ago by Pope John Paul II as the conclusion of his encyclical Redentoris Missio.

These words come true in the life of the Pius X Secular Institute. During the days of Holy Week 2023, in the various countries where we are present, members set out to walk with people in search of the hope that the light of the Risen Christ brings. Thus, especially in the region of Retalhuleu in Guatemala, in Quebec City in Canada and in Nicaragua, members of our apostolic Family gave themselves fully to the mission. This was also the experience of many other members and candidates throughout the world.

Lorca León Cayasso, a consecrated lay woman from the Pius X Secular Institute, was visiting Nicaragua. At the end of her trip, she said: “As a consecrated woman, this opportunity to do Holy Week mission, in another country, outside the liturgical context while serving the Institute, represents a new dimension of the apostolate. It is a valuable opportunity to learn to accompany and open myself to the experience of others, to meet the Lord in each one. It is helping me to affirm my being on a personal level, but also as a member of the Institute, who wants to be available to the inspirations of the Spirit and tries to give a response.  Also, I am learning to trust, with the human shadows and lights, to trust that I am also accompanied by the Church of Christ and He also helps me to discern through the accompaniment of my leaders.

“I have discovered what one might suspect of a people in a crisis situation. Life is tough, but beautiful. Life goes on and the confreres of the Institute live their daily life hand in hand with God. I discovered in Nicaragua a people who are fervent, generous and proud of their culture. I thank the Lord for this experience that allows me to be with Him, giving comfort and hope, but also receiving it.”

Other members of the Pius X Secular Institute will live a similar experience in the coming months. Father Miguel Angel Avendaño Toledo, territorial director for Latin America and Africa, will make a pastoral visit, sharing for several weeks the life and mission of the members and candidates in the Colombia region. In early August, he will also travel to Brazil to participate in the Congress of CISAL (Conference of Secular Institutes for Latin America and the Caribbean). Father Marcel Caron, director general, will visit the Guatemala region in mid-June.

As we “walk together” as an apostolic Family, this sharing allows us to mutually enrich each other with the life experiences that have woven our history; in this way, we can recognize in it the presence of God. In accepting our cultural and religious differences, we seek to draw closer to the God of life who reminds us as did our founder, Father Henri Roy, “My parish is the world”. In communion with a Family spirit that identifies us, we remain open to the calls of the Spirit to deepen the encounter with Jesus in the midst of today’s world. In this way we always try to be a Family in mission.

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