EXPERIENCE OF MISSION IN TAGANGA, SANTA MARTA – COLOMBIA

“We try to associate ourselves closely with people of modest means and be a presence among them, with special compassion for the most deprived.” RL 10


Colombie

We welcomed with great enthusiasm the invitation of Father Roberto (of the religious Congregation of the Basiliano Fathers) to help him during the Holy Week mission 2016 in the community of Taganga, Santa Marta, Colombia.

We were adventuring into the unknown, given that we were counting solely on our great desire to go there as missionaries and to serve. Simply to welcome what was new from a God who comes to meet us

Father Roberto had managed to adapt a bedroom and bathroom in the presbytery, still under construction, so that the sisters would have some comfort. When we arrived we saw the parish community waiting for us; they wanted to experience our charism as sisters who were coming to share the faith with them.

We soon discovered the openness, simplicity and generosity of the people around us, values rooted in those who accompanied us with care during this experience.

Unité pastorale St François d'Assise

Unité pastorale St François d’Assise

On the first day it happened that we had no water in the house. The water arrivesTaganga 2 in tankers every three days and as you have to buy it, it is a very precious liquid. The lack of water makes for a curious contrast with the immense sea that encircles this region with all its splendour

Taganga3

We shared the experience of mission with two Basiliano seminary students, Edilson and Luís, who were also part of the team.

We got together with great enthusiasm to prepare the meetings with the children and the young people of the community, and with those whom we would meet for the childrens’ and young peoples’ Easter celebrations.

Taganga 4

From the beginning we were able to catch their attention thanks to the diverse talents of those who animated for the glory of God. Making them aware of the message of Jesus as Saviour in their daily life was an interesting task. Many children and young people were very resolute in these meetings. They were motivated and wanted either to discover new experiences, or reflect on their previous experience, by means of the times for reflection or creative play offered to them. Our Taganga 6objective was to help them explore the personal and collective possibilities in the reality that surrounded them.

The work that is done in Tanganga by Father Roberta is admirable, given all that he has to do. He personally celebrates three Masses and has suceeded in awakening and intensifying an ardour for the person of Jesus and a great desire to cooperate in mission. His missionary zeal caught our attention. As he went through the dusty streets with their narrow pavements, we saw how the people recognised him as he passed and greeted him with the affection due to someone close to them. In all that he does, it is evident that he is ceaselessly searching for the common good, for what can unite them as a community of faith. Those who get involved here, participate actively and dynamically.

Taganga 5

We also had the good fortune of trying out the variety of food typical of the region. We were invited by various families who always awaited us with joy and looked after us with the friendliness and pleasure of simple people. They had a way of getting close to us and allowing us to get close to them, with expressions of affection and confidence that made us feel that we had a place there in that family.

With thanks to God for all that we had lived and shared with our brothers and sisters in this place, we took our leave of them in order to go on happily discovering and deepening the experience of a Jesus who continues to show himself in different ways in our lives.

We believe that the richness of the religious life lies in the sharing of the charisms of our congregations and in thus being a sign of the Kingdom through this inter-congregational work.

“We try to associate ourselves closely with people of modest means and be a presence among them, with special compassion for the most deprived.” RL 10

 

Happy Easter in the joy of the Resurrection to each one of you.

With Affection :Your Sisters. Yury Casallas and Gelsomina Rodas

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