Interparish meeting 2024 Valladolid

Saturday, April 21, was the day designated for representatives of all the parishes served by the Augustinian Recollects, Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, in Spain, will travel to the Saint Augustine school in the city of Valladolid for a brief and intense coexistence.

There were about eighty parishioners who responded to the invitation; most of them were parishioners of the Parish of Saint Rita in Madrid and of Our Lady of Buenavista, in Getafe (Madrid), but there was also a representative of the Parish of Saint Monica of Zaragoza, two of the Alcazarén (Valladolid) and four of the Saints Perpetua and Felicity, in Madrid, attended for more than fifty years by the Augustinian Recollects. When the two buses arrived at the educational center and saw their dimensions, the common reaction of the passengers was shock, which increased as they approached the “red” room where everyone was going to get together and develop some of the events of the meeting.

Fray Juan Carlos Avitia, president of the Provincial Secretariat of Parishes and Missions, as the organizer of the meeting, was the first to speak and proposed the plan for the day.

Next, the prior of the house, Rafael Mediavilla, welcomed the travelers, he was happy for their presence and made himself available to everyone for what they needed. Other religious of the house, such as Fernando Martín and Francisco Oyanguren, accompanied the visitors in their activities throughout the morning. As moderator of the meeting, Avitia gave the floor to Marciano Santervás so that in a few minutes he would speak to those gathered about the presence of the Augustinian Recollects in the city of Valladolid throughout history.

Next, Juan Carlos Avitia projected a series of slides to explain to the parishioners the meaning of the “meeting”, he alluded to the motto of the Order for the current course and, based on the decisions of the last Chapters, general and of the Province of Saint Nicholas, strongly emphasized the need for collaboration with the laity, without whom, he said, “it is not viable a parish pastoral”.

As with any large gathering, sticking to the planned schedule is fundamental, so, once the event was over in the “red” room, everyone went to see the school church, which surprised them because of its enormous size, we went to the school chapel, where the Mass was celebrated, which Juan Carlos presided and with whom nine Augustinian priests concelebrated Recollects and one diocesan.

Some representatives of the parishes intervened in the statements, readings, prayers, and thanksgiving. Everyone sang the songs with vigor directed by Brother Antonio Antón, with frater Alberto Moreno, the organist, and parish priest of Saint Rita.

In the homily, the preacher, in a different tone, once again referred to the motto of the Order for this course: “Do you aspire for great things? It starts at small”, he thanked the people for their generous collaboration with the priests and religious, and he encouraged them to continue supporting and presenting new and good initiatives for a more dynamic and evangelizing parish ministry. “Small things, like this meeting, make a big ministry.”

At the scheduled time and without delay, everyone set out along the long collegiate hallway towards the dining room where the catering company served a rich and abundant food and drink.

Satisfied, the afternoon’s adventures began. Each of the two parish groups had their plan. After returning through the city, the one from Getafe visited the sanctuary of Our Lady of Henar, in the province of Segovia, before returning to Getafe.

The Saint Rita group spent a long hour visiting the National Museum of Sculpture and then made a brief visit to some churches: Santa María la Antigua, Saint Paul, and Our Lady of Sorrows; they contemplated fleetingly the façade of the University and, with some detail, visited the palace of Santa Cruz.

Full of art and history, on a day with moderately hot weather in Valladolid, it was also necessary to refresh the palate before riding the bus at 7:30 p.m., as scheduled. At the right time, the bus headed towards Madrid.

Full day and well spent. Formation, living faith, tourism, fraternity. According to the messages published on the social networks, everyone was happy and grateful. This type of meeting is worth it.