Silos: The assembly place for laity from Recollect Parochial Ministries
The Secretariat for Ministerial Apostolate of the Province Augustinian Recollect of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine had included in its pastoral program for the end of course 2917-18 an assembly for the laity in Silos, (Burgos, Spain) aimed to the active members in pastoral leadership like catechists, laity and other people especially involved with pastoral activities in their parishes.
Lately there was a fear to continue with this assembly due to the rain pouring everywhere in Spain, and there was a concern regarding the participants for they have to travel some 200 kilometers. In spite of it some 178 laity and religious companions started off to Silos and they were able to go trough all activities tailored for this occasion without any hitch in the transit or stroll in Silos or any other places chosen by the attendees.
The groups that came to the assembly were laity groups from these parishes: Our lady of Buenavista, in Getafe, (Madrid); Santa Rita, in Madrid city capital; Saint Monica, in Zaragoza, and from Saint Bartolome, in Marcilla (Navarra).
At half past ten was the estimated time of arrival to Silos and to begin visiting the Monastery of Saint Domingo. The groups arriving from Madrid and Getafe, as they got near Silos, enjoyed greatly the picturesque scenery of La Yecla’s gorge, (Burgos).
As the four groups were coming, the visit to the cloister commenced just on time, also other sites opened to tourism (pharmacy, museum…). The explanations provided by the guide were really an artistic catechesis, cultural and spiritual, they were extraordinary, and they led directly to the eucharistic celebration which took place next at 12.30 inside the austere monastic church.
The mass was presided by Fr. Juan Carlos Avitia, president of the Secretariat of Ministerial Apostolate and parish priest of Saint Rita; and concelebrated: Marciano Santervas, Angel Maria Rios, Manuel Arranz and Gustavo Solis. Dom Norberto, a monk and priest helped the concelebrants standing by during mass to make sure everything went smoothly. The laity guided by the vibrant voice of deacon German Antonio Anton, they sung enthusiastically well familiar songs. At the end of the celebration Anton intoned the hymn to Our Lady of Consolation, which seemed like it was warming up the church and all participants. After mass the four groups integrating the laity, they continued in church, in silence and they united eventually to the monastic monachal prayer “The sixth” hour. It was 13.45.
At the restaurant Silos 200, the tourists got rid of their coolness they stored in church with a choicely menu which satisficed everybody.
After lunch, every group organized their free time for the afternoon, thus the group of Saint Rita and Saint Monica they went their way to Covarrubias, while the groups of Getafe and Marcilla off they went to Burgos. In Covarrubias it is the Collegiate of Saint Cosme and Saint Damian which promised a rich historic and artistic importance, and so the two groups went not being sure if there was still time to visit. As they were two big groups, the parish priest Juan Manuel was very compassionate with Saint Rita’s group which arrived first, and allowed the visit which he himself guided, and it was a bit fast for there was a concert coming at six o’clock in the same collegiate. Don Juan Manuel, very knowledgeable of the whole artistic monument, he offered very substantial and exquisite words about the very valuable items in church, cloister and museum, in this way the tourists from Madrid received in this day without expecting it a second catechesis. The pleasant days have 24 hours as well… The afternoon was getting along. Saint Rita’s group left Covarrubias and set off to Lerma (Burgos). On their way it started to rain, which is why the visit to this last city it was a bit watered down, it lost its brightness. Still everybody enjoyed roaming around and window-shopping at the plaza, and some under umbrellas or raincoats they were able to buy the famous monastic “sweets”, in this case from The Monastery of Saint Claire. The weather compelled us to quickly leave Lerma and set off for Madrid.