The Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino presents its Missionary Action Project

This document defines the main objectives of the Province Mission in Labrea, especially finding ways to strengthen co-responsibility with the laity, training to improve the effectiveness of all pastoral and social actions.
News | 2020 May 18

The Province  of  St. Nicholas of Tolentine  has just    presented  its   Missionary  Action Project 2020-2022,  a document which intends to  mark  the                guidelines,  objectives,  means  and those responsible in the missionary action of the Province especially in the  Prelature  of  Lábrea  (Amazonas,  Brazil).

The Augustinian Recollect  José  Alberto  Moreno (Arnedo,  La  Rioja,  Spain,  1973),  who is part of the Commission  of  Social  Apostolate  and  the  Missions Section  of the  Province’s Pastoral Secretariat,  has  been responsible for   coordinating    its  elaboration,  in  which  religious  and lay people have  actively  participated.  

In an interview he was asked about  the  main  aspects of this document.

What were the  reasons for creating this  document?  

The Life  and  Mission Project of  the  Order  of  Augustinian  Recollects  (D.2)  and  that  of  the  Province  of   St.  Nicholas  of  Tolentine  (IV.23)  requested the Missions Secretariat  to  develop  this  Missionary  Action Project before December  2019.

The document was completed on time but needed to be translated and approval but with the pandemic, it was finally approved this past April.

The document  starts by presenting the Order’s statutes for the missions and  aims to offer    guidelines    for  the organization of the  missionary  apostolate  in  the  Province. We see that it can be easily applied to promote  the task of evangelizing with the touch of our Recollect Family’s charism.

What content do  we find  in  this Missionary   Action  Project?  

We focus  on the missionary work the Order does in Labrea,  in  the southwest of  the  State  of  the Amazon,  Brazil.

You will find the objectives for any missionary apostolate, a  historical  overview  of  the  mission,  a  social,  religious and  pastoral  diagnosis  of  the  municipalities  of  the  region  where the Recollects are present with it’s specific challenges and urgent tasks that need to be done.    

From    this  analysis,  a  general  plan  of  the  mission  and  the  framework  project  of missionary actions areoffered in a concrete manner:    lines  of  action,  objectives,  goals, programming,  and  a final evaluation.  

A     somewhat  more  extensive  side  document  also  presents  a  brief  description  of    the missionary work the Order is doing in Asia,  but due to  its  special circumstances it is  impossible to develop  an  organic  project as of today.  

I would like to stress that it  was    not  a  document  done in an office or a meeting room, it was developed with the collaboration  of  many  of  the on site missionaries. The document had to be revised repeated times by many specialists that’s why it has been a complex project done as a missionary team.

The Secretariat developed  the first stage of the process that took us to this final document back in January 2019 during the Assembly which brings  together  all  the  religious  of  the  Province  of  St.  Nicholas  of  Tolentine  in  the country,  including    those    working  in  the  Brazilian  states  of  Amazonas  and  Ceará,  where    the  main missionary and social centers are located.  

One of the team members was asked to encourage all the Recollect friars in the country to  participating by sending their main worries and other suggestions for the mission. Out of those contributions, the first  draft was made and sentto the  Provincial  Secretariat for review. The revised  document was studied and enriched  at  the  2020  Brazilian Delegation Assembly and sent again to the Provincial Secretariat of  Missions  and  the  Province's Committee on Communications  and  Publications for editing and formatting.

In addition, the     provincial       prior,    Sergio  Sánchez,,  wanted to  participate in an  active  way  by writing an  introduction  and  conclusion for the  document, as well  as  some  reference  notes  for  the  extensive  internal document  that  was mentioned    earlier.

What   main sources have  been  taken  into  account?

After a long study and drafting  process, a final comprehensive document has been presented as a pastoral and evangelization guide for the missions. Three aspects are considered: The  Order  of  Augustinian  Recollects; the  Church  Guidelines    in  Brazil, and  the  recent  Synod  on  the  Amazon  held  in  Rome  in  October    2019.

These three  aspects  of  reflection  and  study  on  the  Amazon  lead  to  two  well-defined  lines  of  pastoral  action:  

  • The experience of  permanent mission,  giving  priority  to  those who are  excluded;
  • The implementation  of a  process  in Christian  initiation with  an Amazonian  face without forgetting our service  for  integral ecology.

What   concrete goals do  you want to  achieve?

From    the  general      objectives,  eight specific objectives are presented together with  their  goals,  actions, programming  and  evaluation  indicators turning  this  document  into  a  true  compass  and  a  trunk  full  of  well-structured ideas  for action to achieve its objectives.

Here’s a quick  summary of goals and  objectives:  

— Objective  1  •  Improve  the  functioning  and  impact  of  the  Indigenous  Pastoral  (CIMI)  and   the Pastoral  ofthe Earth(CPT)  and,  in    the  long  term,  form  teams  in  all parishes.  

  • Goal 1.1. Empower    river villages and indigenous  leaders.
  • Goal 1.2. Reduce  the  internal  migration  of    leaders  from  the  rural  area  to  cities    in  search  of work  and/or  studies.

— Objective  2  •  Improve  the  functioning  and  impact  of  the  Hope  Centres (CEs).  

  • Goal 2.1. Unify   methodology  and  management  of  the  three  CEs..
  • Target 2.2. Ensure  the  sustainability  of    CEs..
  • Target 2.3. Increase funding sources.    

 a — Objective  3  •  Train  and  incentivize the   basic  ecclesial    communities   (CEBs))  to  evangelize  where it ismost  needed.    

  • Goal 3.1. Form small missionary  ecclesial communities with priority choice for the  poor.
  • Goal 3.2. Ensure  human, solidarity CEBs  with a sense  of  belonging,  coexistence,  cooperation  andgroup commitment.  
  • Goal 3.3. Design  ecclesial  actions  in    small communities.  

 a   — Objective  4  •  Support,  encourage  and  accompany  popular ecclesial movements. .

  • Goal 4.1. Facilitate  the processes to establish Neighborhood Residents'    Associations.

— Objective  5  • To train  leaders  and  lay  agents  as  protagonists  of   social transformation.  

  • Target 5.1. Train lay  agents to  respond  to  all  the  needs  of  your  community.
  • Target 5.2. Strengthen  the structures for  communion  and  participation  in  parishes.  

— Objective  6  •  Form  and  work  for  a  comprehensive ecology .

  • Target 6.1. Awareness  of  the  environment  and integral ecology.  
  • Target 6.2. Ensure  the  sustainability  of  the Prelature's  infrastructures.  
  • Target 6.3. Train trainers  in integral ecology.  

— Objective  7  •  Ensure  the  implementation  in  parishes of  the  process  of  initiation  to  Christian life. .

  • Target 7.1. Formation  on  initiation    to  Christian  life  as  a  cross-cutting  axis.
  • Target 7.2. Ensure  resources  for   initiation   itineraries.    
  • Target 7.3. Ensure    resources  for    liturgical  celebrations  with  Amazonian  face.

— Objective  8  •  Initial  training  for  the  new  missionaries  of  the  Prelature.

  • Target 8.1.  Curso  CENFI course in  Brasilia.
  • Target 8.2. Know  the  methodology  of  the pastoral care  of  the  Prelature  of  Labrea.
  • Target 8.3. Northwest    Regional   Course in  Porto  Velho,,  Rondania..

What will happen after the document is published?

The most complicated  and yet most  exciting stage must start and that is to roll up our sleeves and  get to work to achieve all the objectives turning the ideas into a reality.

Let me conclude by saying that the main protagonists in this project are the laity with the support and encouragement of the religious missionaries.

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Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

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