Casilla 345, Tarija, Bolivia
Tel: (591) 4-6658316 / Cel: (591) 70220560
Dear Friends of the Misioneros Maristas,
According to the liturgical calendar as we write, we have are in the Season of Advent, a time op preparation to celebrate an historic happening: a happening that changed the world for its tremendous revolutionary, subversive, radical change –a change full of life or, in other words, the GOOD NEWS.
This event flooded the world with a new order: one that starts from below and rises to above.
The birth of the One who liberates, who comes to his people to dwell among them and who encourages them to fight in the building up of the Kingdom through our participation and commitment, inserts Himself in our reality and assumes our condition.
His life is the experience most near to the one that God wishes for all of us. Christmas is not only the celebration of the birth, but also points the way that the mission of this Jesus of the People will take.
In this spirit, we fraternally greet you at this time as we wish to share with you our journey together this year and our hopes for the coming year.
This journey together has a course of some 20 years of self-giving and commitment; one that has at times gone against the current is some aspects of our mission.
Nevertheless our joy has been immense as we have managed to share our lives together. They have been years full of grace and gratuitousness on the part of the God of Life.
This commemoration of our 20 years as Misioneros Maristas we celebrated with a Eucharist and fiesta with a small group of close friends, members of our Diocesan CEBs Commission. It was indeed a memorable and happy occasion.
This year that is now drawing to a close has been a period of transition and discernment. In this context, November 25-26th saw us engaged in the configuration of our pastoral plan – a plan whereby in this time of grace gives impetus and life to the relaunching/revitalizing of CEBs (Base Church Community model of being Church) throughout Latin America, and especially in our own Bolivia.
Our plan for this new year of pastoral mission includes different levels: a strategic plan on the local, diocesan, zonal, national, Andean and Latin American levels in those areas where one encounters an openness to the promotion and strengthening of this model of being Church.
Another one of the innovations of this new phase is the creation of a resource centre that we have named “CEMPAC” (Centro Marista de Promoción y Articulación de las Comunidades). This replaces our former “CEMFE” (Centro Marista de Formación Eclesial).
By means of “CEMPAC”, we wish to be an instrument that articulates the exchange of information, of experiences, of materials and processes of CEBs at the different levels mentioned.
Also we will be offering courses and workshops related to the CEBs. In this manner, this will enable us to encourage, animate and motivate in the places where the CEBs are a dynamic force and ferment in the life of the people at this point in history.
As regards to our weekly radio programme “Tejiendo Redes”, the Tarija director of Radio ACLO has informed us that this Jesuit radio network will in the new year be transmitting via satellite.
As a consequence our programme will be one of those from Tarija to be transmitted nationally. In addition, Radio ACLO forms part of a wider network of independent stations “ERBOL” of around some 30 stations that cover every place in Bolivia and our programme eventually will be one of those selected for transmission.
Thus we will need to be ever alert to what is going on in the country and the world –at-large, analyze well the reality reading “the signs of the times” and interpret them in the light of the Gospel and the values of the Kingdom.
In this light, our calendar is programmed for the entire year. It will be very motivating as we will be doing things that we have not previously done and will require creativity and dedication on our part in order to give life and strength to this plan that went into effect at the start of December and runs through to November 2011.
Throughout the 20 years of service what has characterized us according to the response of the people in the different levels of our missionary activity is the nearness, the proximity, the trust and confidence they feel.
Our way of sharing with them makes them feel welcomed and well received or accepted –without any formalities nor categories; for the, a style different from other pastoral agents whom for them solely drop in to perform some cultic activity (as the saying goes) and then off.
As Misioneros Maristas we have tried to incarnate those values in our lives that the people recognize in us, thus allowing us to reach out and touch our sisters and brothers of the communities.
Our presence becomes a motive of joy for them because, in many cases, we appear to be the only ones that visit them and make them feel part of the Community.
With this trust, we have configured our calendar for the entire year and hence through its format we express our intention and hope to serve our beloved Church and to contribute to its transformation and revitalization, thus creating a space and setting for true fellowship between persons and thereby able to have an experience of the God of Life.
These 20 years, full of vitality and grace, have been made possible thanks to you, our friends. Because of your solidarity we have been able to arrive at places where official means do not.
Even though our energies are not the same as when we set out together, our will is very much still intact as regards.
In this Christmas the God of Life who is born and comes into our world as light, may He illumine all our days and His grace from on high give us all strength for the coming year.
Our sincere thanks for your solidarity and for being with us on our journey as our friends. Know that you are always in our prayers.